Queens Park Rangers midfielder Adel Taarabt has snubbed the opportunity to join Serie A minnows Atalanta on loan until the end of the season and is instead holding out hope for a return to the San Siro with AC Milan.
The 25-year-old has rarely featured for Harry Redknapp’s side after falling out with the former Tottenham Hotspur and Portsmouth manager earlier in the season, and wants to return to Italy in order to end his troubled spell in the capital.
However, with Filippo Inzaghi’s men having reached a deal to sign former Torino winger Alessio Cerci from Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid, the Italian giants are more likely to be in the market for a striker following Fernando Torres’ shock return to his boyhood team.
Taarabt is a player with unquestionable ability, but problems with his attitude have often overshadowed his spell at Loftus Road and he has been left out in the cold ever since the start of the season.
Redknapp questioned his weight back in October – believing his midfielder to be three stone overweight at the time – but despite admitting the row had been resolved has left the Moroccan to languish on the substitute’s bench and amongst the reserves.
He last featured in the R’s defeat to rivals West Ham United that same month, but with his heart clearly lusting for a return to Italy is likely to be sold when the transfer window reopens next month.
Despite Milan struggling under the stewardship of both Massimiliano Allegri and Clarence Seedorf last term, Taarabt impressed during his six months at the European giants and would be keen to play a part in the rebuilding work currently being undergone by Inzaghi.
He scored four times in 14 appearances last season, but was unable to help the club turn their season around as they missed out on a place in Europe altogether, finishing well adrift of Rafael Benitez’s third-placed Napoli.
However the arrival of Cerci could prove an obstacle to his hopes of a move, with the 27-year-old’s arrival expected to usher in a new era of success in Milan, success that the fans are hungry for after last year’s misery.
Cerci’s arrival will add creativity and energy to the side, and may also relieve the goalscoring pressure from the shoulders of Jeremy Menez, who has been the signing of the summer in Italy’s top flight.
Jackson Martinez would be a possible option despite the striker’s wish to remain at current club Porto, as could Radamel Falcao if things fail to improve under Louis van Gaal at Manchester United.