AC Milan director Paolo Maldini has revealed that signing Tiémoué Bakayoko and Gonzalo Higuain on permanent deals depends on qualifying for the Champions League.

Both players are on a loan deal for the season with option to buy, and the Rossoneri are currently operating under Financial Fair Play restrictions, meaning that signing both players on permanent deals would be unlikely without a top four finish.

“We’re absolutely convinced we can get fourth place,” Maldini told reporters at Milanello.

“We’re not happy with how things have gone this month, of course, when we’ve had a lot of injuries and therefore great difficulty in terms of numbers.

“Despite that we expected more, and [Coach Gennaro] Gattuso knows that too. We need to change the attitude during the game, we can’t lie down and we can’t look for sixth.

“Bakayoko and Higuain? We’ve been clear with the players: the Champions League is binding.”

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