Andrea Belotti insists he’s not thinking about the €100m release clause, but is a Milan supporter and he “dreams of the Champions League and World Cup.”
Il Gallo (the rooster) is current top scorer in Serie A on 25 goals, level with Roma’s Edin Dzeko, attracting interest from the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United.
However, his recently signed contract includes a release clause valid only for non-Italian clubs worth €100m.
“I never stopped to think about the weight of that €100m tag, because I always thought I should prove my worth on the pitch and those performances would ultimately set by value,” 23-year-old Belotti told Sky Sport Italia.
“In today’s world you hear about exorbitant transfer fees. Clubs pay €70m-€80m or even €100m for a single player. The level of the market has been raised so much in recent years and you hear excessive figures being bandied about. Maybe it changes little for some clubs, as they have so many millions behind them.”
When it comes to playing in Italy, Belotti admits there is one club that stands out for him.
“As a kid I used to run like crazy and dream of becoming like Andriy Shevchenko, because he was and still is my idol. His hunger on the pitch, his cool head and ability to be professional off the field all made him great. There were few players at his level.
“Every now and then my father and brother would take me to the stadium, but I mostly studied him on television. I’ve never met Shevchenko, but my girlfriend did surprise me, as on the day of my birthday, they showed me a message from him wishing me a lovely day. I was as happy as a child, I even cried with joy!
“I’ve heard there are similarities in the way we play, but I maintain every player is different and unique, even if they share a few small characteristics.
“I am Belotti and hope that one day I will be remembered as Belotti.”
Torino look set to miss out on Europe, but Belotti leads the Italy attack heading towards the 2018 World Cup.
“The World Cup is the dream for any player, just like the Champions League. The first feeling I had when I crossed the threshold and the Italy training ground in Coverciano was of unity.
“Even after Euro 2016, where we went out in rough circumstances against Germany, the group stuck together and got even more united.
“In my view the introduction of strong young players also helped, as we can grow so much thanks to the Coach and the advice from more experienced players.”