Liverpool have reportedly registered interest in securing the services of in-demand AC Milan forward Rafael Leao this summer.
According to Calciomercato, AC Milan are bracing themselves for a raid from Liverpool for Rafael Leao. The 22-year-old Portuguese international has become one of the most in-demand players in Italy following his exceptional performances this season. Along with the Reds, Leao is also courted by Atletico Madrid, and it appears a move away from San Siro could be on the horizon.
Liverpool’s interest in Leao, though, could serve as a signal of intent from the Merseyside giants, who are aiming to further enhance the overall depth of the squad. While there has been some speculation surrounding the long-term future of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, it is apparent Jurgen Klopp is already looking ahead to the future.
Liverpool have already found immense success with the January signing of Luis Diaz. The Colombian has quickly hit the ground running and is expected to become the face of the Liverpool attack in the years to come.
With both Mane and Salah nearing the final stage of their respective careers, the addition of someone like Leao could certainly help Liverpool rebuild and add youthful exuberance to their frontline, something Klopp is definitely looking for, as evidenced by his recent pursuit of not only Leao but also West Ham starlet Jarrod Bowen.
With a tally of 24 goals and 15 assists in over 100 Serie A matches, Leao could be a better option due to his versatility in the final third. He is also a Portuguese international, having won three caps for his country.
Liverpool, though, are set to face strong resistance from Milan in the race to sign Leao. The Rossoneri are keen on retaining the overall strength of their attacking unit next season as Stefano Pioli looks to firmly establish Milan as one of the major powerhouses of European football.
The Rossoneri do already have the upper hand as Leao’s contract at San Siro does not expire until 2024. It could give the leverage to hold out for hefty fees for the services of the 22-year-old. Furthermore, their chances of keeping Leao at the club could increase significantly if they can somehow land the Scudetto this term.
Milan are currently sitting top of the Serie A table but only have a slender three-point lead over their arch-rivals Inter Milan. In any case, it appears the Italian giants have a contingency plan in place, having targeted a move for Fabio Carvalho next summer.