La Liga heavyweights Barcelona are reportedly tracking the progress of 22-year-old Portuguese attacking sensation Rafael Leao at Serie A club AC Milan.
According to a report by Spanish publication SPORT, Rafael Leao is the subject of interest from Barcelona over a possible move in the summer transfer window. The 22-year-old AC Milan attacking sensation’s agent, Jorge Mendes, shares a healthy working relationship with the Blaugrana.
Rafael Leao spent his formative years in Portugal before graduating from the Sporting CP academy around half a decade ago. But after short stints with the Portuguese club’s first team and LOSC Lille, it is upon joining AC Milan in August 2019 that the youngster has found a stable footing.
After some teething problems, the 22-year-old has slowly come into his own, establishing himself as a pivotal figure for the Serie A giants this season. Leao has 11 goals and six assists in 31 outings across all competitions. And it is hardly surprising that his exploits for AC Milan have been noticed by some of the biggest clubs in Europe, including Barcelona.
Barcelona will likely enter the market for multiple attacking reinforcements in the summer transfer window, and for a good reason. Signing a striker is their priority, with the Blaugrana recently presenting an offer to Erling Haaland. But Barcelona will also likely sign a wide-attacker.
That is because Memphis Depay faces an uncertain future at Camp Nou after dropping down the pecking order. At the same time, Ousmane Dembele will become a free agent in the summer transfer window as things stand. Barcelona will thus need to invest in a wide-attacker, with Raphinha recently emerging as a target.
Leao is also an option worth considering for Barcelona, especially considering the projection he has shown in the last couple of years. But prising the 22-year-old away from AC Milan will be a tough ask, with the Rossoneri keen on tying him down a new contract.
Leao’s current contract with the Serie A giants runs until June 2024, meaning he would have a high asking price anyway. And if Haaland ends up joining Barcelona, a major chunk of their budget will be assigned to the Norwegian striker, meaning snapping up the Portuguese attacking sensation seems unlikely at the moment.