AC Milan coach Vincenzo Montella hints at M'Baye Niang departure

M'Baye Niang has been left out of AC Milan's squad for their Coppa Italia clash with Juventus on Wednesday night with coach Vincenzo Montella appearing to suggest it might be better for him to leave the club this winter.

Niang, 22, rejected a move to Leicester City a year ago, but he may now be on his way to the Premier League this winter with Montella saying he has run out of patience with the French forward.

"It's very simple: Niang is evaluating, together with the club, whether he should go and play elsewhere, which is why he's not being called up," Montella said at a news conference. "When I first got here, he was really willing and he's trying to grow to manage his talent as well as possible.

"He's a player who has had highs and lows and he needs to improve something, and this season has only confirmed that. He tried and we got to the stage where we were all delighted with the results, even the lad was. Then we got to a point where he stopped, and I'll pretend I don't know the reason why, or at least I don't want to tell you.

"He's an extremely sensitive lad. He's never overstepped the mark, despite always being right on the limit. I was not happy with his approach when he came on against Torino, and he recognised that. If he stays, then we'll try again, but if he leaves, I wish him the best in succeeding."

According to reports in Italy, Stoke City, Crystal Palace and Everton are all interested in him with Niang preferring a move abroad over a return to Genoa, where he impressed on loan from January to May 2015, scoring five goals in 14 games.

With Gerard Deulofeu arriving on loan from Everton, Niang's opportunities are likely to be reduced even further, with Montella saying he expects the new arrival to get a regular game, starting on Wednesday night in Turin.

"He's a player I know very well because I've been following him for a while," Montella said. "He's got infinite talent and he's not yet fulfilled his potential. It's going to be one of my jobs to work out why that is the case, considering he's such a good player.

"We've signed him because we want him to play for us. He can play on either wing, but he can also play as the false nine. He's already made a great impression and he's probably going to be involved [against Juve]."