09/18/2014 02:55 EDT | Updated 06/16/2017 00:59 EDT

Star Montreal striker Marco Di Vaio hints at retiring after MLS season

MONTREAL - After beating around the bush for much of the year, Impact striker Marco Di Vaio is strongly suggesting he will retire at the end of Montreal's current Major League Soccer season.

"It's difficult to say," Di Vaio said after training on Thursday. "I think I'm going to go back to Italy."

Although Di Vaio, 38, was adamant last October that this season would be his last playing professional football, rumours of yet another contract extension were never quelled. Those rumours gained momentum last month when the Impact acquired Argentine midfielder Ignacio Piatti, whose chemistry on the pitch with Di Vaio is undeniable.

The Italian striker, who spent most of his career in Italy with teams like Parma and Bologna, said he needed to leave Montreal to rejoin his family in Italy.

"After playing here, it's going to be difficult going back home," said Di Vaio. "There are responsibilities there. I'm used to it here.

"Going back to Italy won't be easy. I love going to work every day. I don't know what will happen after, say, a month without soccer. I don't know what I'm going to do there."

Di Vaio denied that Montreal's potential success in the CONCACAF Champions League could change his mind, stating that rejoining his family was his top priority. The Impact are one win away from clinching a spot in the CCL knockout stage for the first time since 2009.

Di Vaio joined the Impact as the team's first designated player in May 2012 on an 18-month contract, before opting for a one-year extension last October. The former Italian international scored 31 goals in 70 Major League Soccer appearances for the Impact, and added another four Champions League goals this year.

Di Vaio is fourth on Montreal's all-time MLS scoring list behind Lloyd Barker, Eduardo Sebrango and current assistant coach Mauro Biello.

Before coming to Montreal, Di Vaio scored 142 goals in 342 matches over a 16-year Serie A career.

Notes: After a 1-0 victory against the New York Red Bulls in the Champions League on Wednesday, the Impact resume MLS play on Saturday when the team welcomes the San Jose Earthquakes to Saputo Stadium.