AC Milan star playmaker Hakan Calhanoglu insists his future at the club doesn’t depend on the outcome of the keenly-contested top-four race in Serie A.
Calhanoglu is out of contract at the end of the season and has yet to pledge his future to Milan despite the club’s tireless efforts to tie him down to a new deal.
Following a frustrating adaptation period, the former Bayer Leverkusen attacking midfielder has grown increasingly vital to the Rossoneri.
Calhanoglu’s rise to stardom has coincided with the arrivals of Stefano Pioli and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Since the duo landed at San Siro last season, the 27-year-old has turned into one of the most prolific midfielders in Serie A.
The Turkey international has clocked up four goals and ten assists in Italy’s top-flight this season, playing a prominent role in Milan’s imperious top-four run.
However, there’s a genuine feeling that something seemingly odd is taking place behind the smokescreen as the player refuses to put pen to paper on a new contract.
Calhanoglu’s uncertain future in Lombardy has alerted several notable clubs in the country and abroad, with Juventus recently emerging as the leading candidates to sign the Rossoneri star in the summer.
Recent speculations claimed the player is waiting to see if Milan can end a seven-year wait for Champions League football before making a final decision.
The seven-time European Cup winners wasted a golden opportunity to join newly-crowned champions Inter Milan and Atalanta in next season’s Champions League group stage.
Pioli’s men played out a dismal scoreless draw with bottom-half-of-the-table Cagliari on Sunday night, casting doubt on their chances of finishing inside the top four.
Before the match, Calhanoglu heaped praise on Milan’s season, insisting his future doesn’t depend on the Champions League.
“I am very happy that we reached this point. We’re fired up and want to book our spot in the Champions League,” the Turk told Sky Sport Italia.
“I always said that I wanted to get into the Champions League with Milan. However, my future does not depend on the Champions League. I am very happy to be here playing for Milan.
“At the end of the season, I will sit down with Paolo Maldini and Ricky Massara to discuss my future. They are the ones in charge and I respect them.”
Heading into the final matchday of the season, Milan are third in the standings, level on points with fourth-placed Napoli and one clear of fifth-placed Juventus.
However, the Rossoneri face the daunting task of beating high-flying Atalanta in the season finale.