Published On: Tue, Aug 23rd, 2016

In-demand Bacca decides to stay at AC Milan

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To see a list of completed deals in the summer window thus far, visit theScore’s Premier League transfer tracker.

Carlos Bacca has visions of playing in the Champions League with AC Milan – one of the main reasons why the Colombian striker decided to eschew interest from abroad to remain with the Rossoneri.

The struggling Serie A outfit apparently put Bacca on the transfer market in an attempt to raise funds for other signings, and various reports indicate the club accepted a bid from West Ham.

But the player couldn’t agree to terms with the Hammers, who could only offer Europa League football at their new Olympic Stadium.

“So many things have been said. There were some teams that wanted to sign me, but in the end I have decided to stay and I am happy with my decision,” Bacca told Milan TV. “Now I just want to work to be ready for the kick-off of the season.”

The 29-year-old – who participated in the Copa America Centenario with his country this summer – stoked rumours of a move away from the San Siro after missing Milan’s tour of the U.S. Paris Saint-Germain and former club Sevilla were also considered destinations, though neither seemed to express real interest.

Bacca admitted he considered an exit from the club he joined only a year ago, but opted to stay in the fashion capital to help restore Milan’s reputation as a European powerhouse.

The Rossoneri have failed to qualify for the Champions League over the past two seasons.

“My dream is to play in Europe with the red and black jersey. Together with my family we didn’t want to leave without having reached this goal,” Bacca added. “I am a very ambitious player, I didn’t reach this goal last year, but I am sure that my teammates and myself will do our best to qualify for the European cups.”

A former bus driver’s assistant in a small town in Colombia, Bacca has emerged as a prolific late bloomer. He scored 20 goals in all competitions for Milan last season despite lacking regular service from midfield.

Although the Serie A club hasn’t made any major signings over the summer break, the recent Chinese takeover promises to lift it back to the top of European football.

Manager Vincenzo Montella also made room for Bacca, even though many considered him incompatible with the Italian’s style of play. Montella tends to favour a single-striker system, with Serie B sensation Gianluca Lapadula also in the mix.

Bacca and Lapadula could form a partnership up front with one of M’Baye Niang or Suso playing behind them, but it remains to be seen if Montella would veer from the 4-3-3 formation he’s used in pre-season friendlies.

“We have to comply with coach Montella’s requests,” said Bacca. “He likes a very offensive style of play. From the first day he has been very clear with me. I am working at my best to do what the manager wants from me and I am sure the results will come.”

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