AC Milan face tough decision on future of Carlos Bacca at the San Siro

Carlos Bacca is rumoured to be on his way out of the San Siro, but where is he heading?

The frustrating wait for AC Milan’s summer transfer window push to gather pace continues due to the on-going delays in takeover talks. In turn, the Rossoneri have to raise funds by selling in the meantime, and that has seemingly revolved around striker Carlos Bacca leaving the club.

It’s clear that new manager Vincenzo Montella wants the Colombian international to stay at the club. Further, there is a solid argument in favour of keeping the 29-year-old and trying to persuade him to stay regardless of his desire to play Champions League football.

Despite Milan’s troubles last season, Bacca scored 18 Serie A goals in 38 appearances. While he sometimes struggled to involve himself in general play and suffered the odd goal drought, it was certainly a more than respectable tally.

Given his ability to score that many goals in a Milan side that ultimately lost their way during the course of the campaign and left him starved of service at times, a side coached by Montella would arguably be a dream for the former Sevilla forward.

The Italian coach’s influence was apparent in the 2-1 win over Bordeaux at the weekend, with Milan emphasising controlling the game and dominating possession. Add Bacca to the mix as the focal point of an attack that already looks more creative and he would be certain to continue his prolific streak.

However, despite the frustration over the lack of progress in takeover talks with the Chinese consortium, Milan can still offer Bacca, and others, a serious project that promises future success.

Provided that he is willing to be patient, Bacca could have a significant role to play in that process, but time will tell as to whether or not he wants to continue his journey with the Italian giants.

Bacca guarantees goals but, while it would be a disappointment to lose him, perhaps there could be sense in letting him leave. The Colombian ace turns 30 in September, and with the figures being touted in terms of the transfer fee that he is likely to command, from a financial perspective it would be a wise move to cash in now.

Indeed, it has become clear that as a takeover continues to be delayed, Milan have conceded that they will have to sell first in order to buy their preferred targets this summer. The likes of Mateo Musacchio and Piotr Zielinski are reportedly on the brink of agreeing to moves to the San Siro, but without the transfer funds to satisfy Villarreal and Udinese respectively, Milan risk missing out on their key targets.

In addition, the Rossoneri still have far too many options in attack and need to trim the squad. Suso, M’Baye Niang, Jeremy Menez, Alessandro Matri, Luiz Adriano, Gianluca Lapadula and Bacca are all at Montella’s disposal currently, and he’ll certainly need to whittle that group down.

In an ideal world, some of the fringe players would be the first to leave, but that isn’t always possible. Further, Montella may have his own ideas of what he wants from his strikers, and perhaps Bacca’s one-dimensional game could be a determining factor if push comes to shove.

Bacca proved his class at times last season and there is a sense that he would be even more influential under Montella in the new campaign. However, if he wants to leave and an interested party meet both his and Milan’s demands, then perhaps the right decision is in fact to let him go.

Montella would undoubtedly benefit from having the additional funds to reinvest back into his squad, and Milan would become a stronger unit as a result. Meanwhile, there are high hopes for Lapadula who joined from Pescara last month and Suso is seemingly ready to make an impression after shining against Bordeaux with a brace. Milan have decent depth already and Montella could very well look to bring in another top striker to replace Bacca as he looks for young and talented individuals that fit his vision of how he wants his Milan side to play.

As a result, it comes down to how highly he values Bacca, and whether or not he’s willing to sacrifice him in order to make his own mark on the squad.

Sumeet Paul has written for various websites providing Serie A coverage. He can be found on Twitter @SP_Calcio for all things Italian football.

The original version of this story which was published by ESPN can be viewed here.

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