Sevilla striker Carlos Bacca confirmed speculation that he has agreed to join AC Milan, although appeared to offer a slither of hope to rival suitors Liverpool, Manchester United and Roma by adding that the deal is not yet official.
Bacca's representative Sergio Barila looked to have ended the gossip surrounding his client, after another prolific season at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pijuan, revealing to MilanNews.it over the weekend that negotiations with the Rossoneri had culminated in an agreement.
"I can confirm that Milan and the player reached an agreement", he said."Carlos chose what is best for his future, so it's only natural he is happy. How long is the deal for? You'd best ask the Rossoneri that."
The player has now backed up his agent's claims, with Sky Sports reporting he has told the media in his native Colombia: "It needs to be confirmed, but it is true -- we've reached an agreement with Milan. My representative tells me they are the club with 100 per cent of the possibility [of signing me]."
Bacca was believed to be in considerable demand this summer. Barila told The Guardian last week that Liverpool, who are set to welcome Danny Ings to Anfield over the coming days with his Burnley contract due to expire tomorrow, were one of two Premier League clubs showing an interest in the 28-year-old as Brendan Rodgers moves quickly to rejuvenate his underwhelming squad.
Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal is also on the search for attacking reinforcements with Bacca's international teammate Radamel Falcao having now returned to AS Monaco after a hugely disappointing loan spell that left the club with no interest in taking up their option to sign him on a permanent basis.
Robin van Persie's future has also been the subject of much speculation over recent weeks. The Dutchman made just 25 Premier League starts last term after suffering an ankle injury in the defeat to Swansea in February and The Mirror recently claimed that Fenerbahce are eager to sign him after a string of clubs -- including rivals Galatasaray -- had dropped their interest over concerns regarding his significant wages.
The same publication also suggested that United, who bought Memphis Depay from PSV Eindhoven earlier in June, had also expressed a desire to sign Bacca after he helped Sevilla to retain the Europa League last term.
Nor were Milan the only Italian outfit to pin their hopes on Bacca. Sporting director Walter Sabatini confirmed to ABC Sevilla that Roma were also tracking the former Club Brugge forward, with ITV reporting that the Serie A runners-up had submitted an offer worth somewhere in the region of £17.8m ($27.9m) to take him to the Stadio Olimpico.
Such an offer looks to have fallen short, however, and Sevilla director Monchi reinforced the fact that Bacca's £21.5m ($33.8m) release clause would have to be met in order to prise him away from Andalucia.
Bacca recently featured at the 2015 Copa America for Colombia. He started in the 1-0 defeat to Venezuela in Rancagua, but was suspended for their final group game against Peru and the quarter-final penalty shootout loss to Argentina after being sent off for shoving Neymar during ugly scenes that marred an otherwise impressive victory over Brazil.