Sevilla have warned potential suitors of prolific striker Carlos Bacca that he will only be allowed to leave the club if the release clause in his contract is triggered, according to Mirror Sport.
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The Colombian striker has been linked with a summer transfer to the Barclays Premier League with Liverpool and Tottenham reportedly interested in his signature as they both look to increase their attacking options in a bid to challenge for Champions League qualification next season.
Bacca is seen by the Reds as a cheaper alternative to Aston Villa’s £32million-rated hitman Christian Benteke and manager Brendan Rodgers has made no secret of his desire bring in a new striker despite the imminent arrival of Danny Ings from Burnley.
However, if the Northern Irishman is serious about a bid for Bacca, he will have to meet the £21.5m release clause after Sevilla sporting director Monchi insisted the club won’t to business for anything less:
“We have no intention of selling him,” he stressed.
“If someone wants Bacca, they have to pay his clause. He’s told us that it’s his desire to stay with the club and I don’t see any other possibility,” Monchi added.
Goals proved hard to come by for the Merseyside outfit last season as they struggled to cope with Luis Suarez departure to Barcelona as well as the numerous injury problems to Daniel Sturridge.
Rickie Lambert and nomadic Italian striker Mario Balotelli were recruited last summer in a bid to fill the void left by Suarez, but could only muster three league goals between them in a hugely disappointing season for the pair.
Both are unlikely to be at Anfield next season as Lambert was linked with a shock move to Chelsea last month [via Guardian Sport] although that rumour has died down is the past few weeks.
Meanwhile Turkish outfit Besiktas are reportedly the latest team to try their hand at getting the best out of Balotelli if reports in Turkey [via Metro Sport] are correct.
A move for Bacca would certainly be considered a coup for the Reds as a player with his goal-scoring record should be playing in Europe’s elite club competition.
The 28-year-old scored 28 goals in all competitions for Sevilla last season, including a double in the Europa League final against Dnipro last month as the La Liga outfit retained the trophy.
With Daniel Sturridge set to miss the start of the season after undergoing hip surgery towards the end of the campaign [via Independent Sport], Liverpool need a striker that will hit the ground running immediately as they face all of last season’s top-four in their first seven away games of the new season.