BORDEAUX, October 17 (Ligue 1) - Bordeaux appear ready to exercise the option of signing France playmaker Yoann Gourcuff from AC Milan on a permanent basis.
Gourcuff, who has shone for club and country over the past couple of months, is on loan at Les Girondins for the 2008/09 campaign. Milan have spoken this week of the attacking midfielder returning to the San Siro for next season, although they claim he is still not guaranteed a place in their first team.
However, Bordeaux president Jean-Louis Triaud insists it will be his club who will have first say on whether the player goes back to Italy.
"They (Milan) say that if Yoann continues like this, he will return next season to Milan," he told L'Equipe.
"But it isn't as simple as that. We have an option to buy.
"For that to be valid, the player has to equally sign a pre-contract with the club and this contract has to be registered with the professional league.
"This is the case with Yoann, who has given his agreement. Bordeaux have until April 15 to take up this option."
Gourcuff looks to be the playmaker France have been yearning for since the retirement of Zinedine Zidane in 2006, and he has had a hand in the last four goals scored by Les Bleus.
However, Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani maintains the 22-year-old will still have to prove his worth to Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti.
"Gourcuff must be aware that a return to AC Milan will see him compete with three or four other midfielders for a starting spot," Galliani said earlier this week.
Triaud reacted by saying: "I don't want to throw oil on the fire but I find Milan to have been quite clumsy in bringing into doubt the attitude and behaviour of Gourcuff.
"He is anything but an idiot, badly brought up or disrespectful. This isn't the best way to make the kid want to come back."