Fiorentina will have to rebuff interest from a host of English clubs if they want to hold on to Khouma Babacar. The Senegalese star signed a new contract back in June 2015, but with offers from England coming in, it remains to be seen how long the Viola will be able to hang on to him.
Both the English and Italian media are reporting that an offer of €11 million from Crystal Palace has already been rejected, and with added interest from Leicester and Southampton, increased offers could well be on the way. Although playing time has been limited for the 22 year old, he has scored four goals in five Serie A appearances for the Viola, proving his natural goal scoring ability.
If a replacement striker becomes a necessity, it has been mooted that Paulo Sousa may look to bring in Graziano Pellè from Southampton, who, despite finding recent success with the Azzurri, has never been a prolific goalscorer in the Italian domestic leagues and may be looking for an opportunity to prove himself under the watchful eye of Antonio Conte.
Despite the foreign interest in Babacar, the player has always stated his desire to remain at the club and has played in purple since the age of 15. At the time of his contract renewal, he assured:
"For me this new contract is only the beginning; I can still grow a lot and am happy to stay. After 8 years in Florence I never want to leave... This is what I wanted ... I am the kind of person who doesn't think about these matters much, I only thought about playing, the rest I left to my lawyer [but] I gave my OK from the beginning, so now I'm happy."
With a contract signed until 2019, a strong offer would need to be on the table in order for Fiorentina to sell such an important prospect for the future. The question will be whether or not a forthcoming offer will be too good to turn down.