By Dominic Toner
Carlos Bacca has revealed he chose to stay with AC Milan to help the club return to European football.
Italian giants Milan have not qualified for European competition since the 2013-14 campaign and the forward has vowed to return the club to the elite stage, despite being offered the chance of Europa League football this season with West Ham.
The Mirror claimed at the end of July that West Ham had increased their bid for AC Milan forward Bacca to £27million and offered him a four-year contract worth £70,000-a-week, to make him the club’s third top earner behind Dimitri Payet and Andy Carroll.
However, Italian outlet Tutto Mercato Web claimed that West Ham ended their attempts to sign Bacca after he decided he wanted to stay in Milan.
The striker has now explained his decision to stay at the San Siro for another year.
“When the intermediary presented the offer, I consulted with my family and decided to stay,” Bacca told Sky Sport Italia, as quoted by the Express.
“It was the right thing for me to do. I wanted to remain because I promised I’d take Milan back into Europe.”
The Colombian forward started his campaign for Milan on Sunday, and it seems like the decision to stay was a good one after he scored a hat-trick to secure a 3-2 victory against Torino.
Bacca joined Milan from Sevilla 12 months ago for a fee of around £25million and is contracted to the Italian giants until 2019.
The 33-time Colombia capped international starred for the Italian giants last season, scoring 20 goals in 43 appearances in all competitions.
West Ham have been hit by several injury blows this summer, leaving forwards Enner Valencia and Jonathan Calleri as their only senior attacking options.
Andy Carroll and the club’s record signing Andre Ayew are both sidelined with long-term injuries and manager Slaven Bilic has revealed that he still wants one more signing before the transfer window ends, and has not ruled out Manchester City striker Wilfried Bony.
In other West Ham transfer news, the club’s target has been urged by his father to move to London after his move to Wolfsburg collapsed.