AC Milan boss Vincenzo Montella admits it would be a blow should Carlos Bacca be sold in the transfer window.
The Colombia international has been heavily linked with a move to the Premier League, with clubs including Everton and West Ham reported to be considering bids of around £25million.
Bacca has stressed a desire to play in the Champions League, prompting speculation of a return to LaLiga with Atletico Madrid, although he has not ruled out staying at San Siro should the prospective takeover of the club by a Chinese consortium yield major investment in the squad.
Montella wants to keep the former Sevilla man but concedes that his personal ambitions – and the club’s financial situation – could see matters taken out of his hands.
“Bacca is a player of an international standard. It’s hard to give up a player who guarantees goals,” he said, as quoted by Corriere dello Sport.
“The club will evaluate things with the boy, because he aspires to play in the Champions League.
“The squad needs to be completed but we have clear ideas. The ball is now in [CEO Adriano] Galliani’s court – he must make the best choices based on the market and our finances.”
Bacca’s team-mate, M’Baye Niang, has likewise been linked with a move away from Serie A, though the 21-year-old said this week that he wants to stay at the club.
And Montella has challenged the France Under-21 international to make the most of his opportunities in the coming season.
“He has great potential, which he hasn’t yet fulfilled completely,” he said. “If he wants to become a champion, then now is the time.”