Milan are in talks with Rafael Leao over a new deal, but there are growing rumours of interest from Chelsea and Manchester City. Here’s what we know so far about the future of the Portugal star.
Leao’s contract at San Siro runs out in June 2024 and the Rossoneri are in a hurry to extend his stay at the club.
During his latest interview with La Gazzetta Dello Sport on Monday, director Paolo Maldini ensured that the 23-year-old wants to stay at the Stadio Meazza, with Milan determined to offer him a substantial pay rise.
However, the ex-defender suggested that the club is unwilling to pay part of the €19m Leao owes to his former club Sporting CP for terminating his contract in 2018. Leao joined Lille as a free agent, before moving to Milan in a €30m deal in 2019.
This is the main reason why Milan are struggling to reach an agreement with their star as the Serie A giants are open to matching his salary demands – which are currently in the region of €7m per season.
Maldini also said that Milan’s ‘interlocutors have often changed’ during negotiations with the player’s entourage.
This is why Leao’s agent Jorge Mendes has been joined by another representative, a French lawyer and close friend of Leao’s father. According to Il Corriere dello Sport, the situation has caused confusion given that the two men representing Leao are not always in sync.
Leao has a €150m release clause included in his current contract, which is not valid in the final weeks of the summer transfer window.
Chelsea were open to paying up to €120m in August, but the Rossoneri didn’t want to sell.
Today’s edition of Il Corriere dello Sport confirms that Manchester City are also monitoring the 23-year-old, but Milan will do all they can to extend his stay at the club.
Should they not be able to reach an agreement with Leao, the Rossoneri could sell their star in the summer as confirmed by Maldini who has reiterated that ‘nobody is unsellable.’