The fee, including add-ons, could rise to £27 million but the Serie A side are holding out until the summer when they believe the Ivorian can command an even higher fee.
Kessie’s agent George Atangana revealed last month to the Guardian that Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, as well as the Blues, have all been keeping track of the 20-year-old in recent months.
The holding midfielder’s reputation has increased rapidly as the season has unfolded. This time last year he was playing on loan in Serie B for Cesena, but his performances in Italy’s top flight this campaign have come to the attention of many Premier League scouts.
In 17 appearances for far this season in all competitions, Kessie has scored seven goals and provided two assists, helping Atalanta to sixth in the Serie A table after 21 games.