After a generally difficult spell at AC Milan, Carlos Bacca joined Villarreal on loan with an option to buy last summer as he embarked on a new challenge.
The 31-year-old has responded with 12 goals in 34 appearances for the La Liga outfit, having bagged just 34 goals in 76 outings for Milan across two seasons.
In turn, the Rossoneri may well have been hoping that they would exercise an €18m option to buy him outright, as per Marca, but they’ve cast doubt over that playing out.
The report claims that Villarreal will consider other options, thus sending Bacca back to the San Siro, and it’s suggested that Milan won’t have much of an issue offloading him again as he has done a decent job this season.
What is clear is that with youngster Patrick Cutrone emerging this season and Andre Silva beginning to find his feet in Italy with back-to-back match-winning goals over the past fortnight, if Bacca were to remain at Milan then he would likely be pushed down the pecking order under Gennaro Gattuso.
However, Calciomercato raise an even bigger problem, as while they expect Milan to want to sell the former Sevilla marksman, he still has a contract with high wages which might make that difficult and leave them in a tough position to move him on.
It’s not ideal for Milan as they would arguably have hoped Villarreal would choose to buy Bacca outright and they could then use that fee to reinvest in the squad and strengthen in key areas.
Gattuso may choose to keep him for his experience and goal threat that he has displayed over the years to potentially help Cutrone and Silva along, but with Nikola Kalinic failing in a similar role this season with just four goals in 30 appearances, it’s questionable as to whether Bacca would be any more effective.