M’Baye Niang has turned down a move to Genoa in favour of fighting for his place in a highly-competitive AC Milan attack this season.
The 18-year-old had been in talks with the Rossoblu since Stephan El Shaarawy, Mario Balotelli, Robinho and Giampaolo Pazzini are all ahead of him in the Milan pecking order. With Keisuke Honda also due to join the Rossoneri, if not this summer then in January at the latest, Niang faces the prospect of more time on the bench next term.
Genoa would be able to guarantee him more opportunities and probably a regular starting berth, but the Frenchman says he would prefer to fight for his chance in Milan.
"I’m perfectly happy in Milan and I want to stay here," he told France’s L’Equipe. "I know what I can give to this side and I’m not scared of the competition."
The France Under-21 international believes he can play alongside the likely first-choice partnership of Balotelli and El Shaarawy, suggesting his versatility stands him in good stead for greater consideration from coach Massimiliano Allegri.
And with the Champions League and Coppa Italia to play for, he is certain he will get his chances too.
"Up front, on the right or out left - I’d play wherever the coach wants me," he said. "I know that I’ve got what it takes to make the breakthrough in this side."
The competition for places could be reduced soon also with Kevin-Prince Boateng attracting interest from the Bundesliga. Ruhr rivals Schalke and Borussia Dortmund both appear keen on the Ghana international, who may be allowed to leave for an offer of €10 million.
"The Bundesliga is always interesting for me," Boateng told Eurosport. "I speak regularly to [Dortmund coach] Jurgen Klopp, he’s a friend of mine."