Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur transfer target Josip Ilicic has revealed his desire to remain in Italy.
The Palermo star has been linked with a number of Premier League sides, with Sky Sports reporting that Liverpool – as well as the Blues and Spurs – were keen on bringing the player to England in January.
However, the 25-year-old remained at the Stadio Renzo Barbera, and now a group of Serie ‘A’ rivals are also keen on his services – most notably Inter Milan, Sampdoria, Juventus and Roma.
And, despite being contracted to the Rosanero until 2016, Ilicic is open to the idea of moving, admitting it will be difficult to reject a move that could change his life.
He does play down the idea of leaving Italy’s top flight though, dealing a transfer blow to both Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur.
"I don't know what will occur in June. The career of a footballer is short and moments arrive when you can change your life. Nevertheless, I'd like to remain in Italy," he told Corriere dello Sport.
Ilicic also revealed that he rejected the chance to join Dynamo Kiev in the January transfer window, with his focus fully on the task at hand with Palermo.
"I received an offer from them but I said no because I wanted to fight and help Palermo stay in Serie A,” he added.
"For now I just want to end this season as well as possible and then we will see what happens."
Chelsea aren’t short of attacking midfield options at Stamford Bridge, with Oscar, Juan Mata and Eden Hazard forming a dynamic trio behind the striker for interim manager Rafa Benitez.
Tottenham Hotspur, meanwhile, are another side with plenty of options in the position, with Gylfi Sigurdsson, Clint Dempsey, Lewis Holtby and Moussa Dembele all showing an ability to play behind the front man this season at White Hart Lane.
Ilicic would have added an extra option for manager Andre Villas-Boas, but the player’s latest remarks suggest Spurs – and other suitors – will miss out.