Chelsea working on deal to sign Rafael Leao

Chelsea are reportedly conversing with AC Milan regarding Rafael Leao, although the deal has many complicated layers, including an £80 million price tag.

According to The Times, Chelsea are working on a deal to sign Rafael Leao from AC Milan. Before Chelsea sign the Portuguese international, there are many complications to deal with, including his mammoth release clause, although the report claims he is valued at around £80 million.

Chelsea could finish the current transfer window as the highest spenders of any club in Europe or England. While they have shelled out considerable sums on significant signings, there could still be room for more outlay before the deadline.

The Blues hope to complete a move for Leicester City’s Wesley Fofana and continue chasing Everton’s, Anthony Gordon. However, after their dismal defeat to Leeds United at the weekend, Thomas Tuchel is hopeful of accelerating activity in the market to bring in attacking talents.

While Gordon remains their primary target for many reasons, including being home-grown and a young talent, Chelsea are not expected to push beyond their latest offer, which could reportedly guarantee the Toffees at least £50 million in transfer fees.

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So far, Everton have rejected at least two reasonable offers from Chelsea, and the Blues do not want to be held to ransom. Hence, they have already identified alternatives, with AC Milan Rafael Leao their next best option.

Chelsea are reportedly in talks with Milan to understand what it may take to sign the Portuguese international. The Serie A giants have initially pointed at his release clause, which is nearly double the £80 million valuation claimed by The Times, but the Blues are optimistic they can get the attacker for much lower.

There is also the legal matter between Leao and former club Sporting CP, with reports suggesting the player owes the Portuguese outfit at least £16 million in payments. CAS already withheld 25 per cent of the winger’s salary, and the report reckons this could be an issue to complete the Portuguese international’s transfer.

The legal issue may not be a big one for Chelsea if they are adamant about bringing the player as they could find a viable solution. However, Chelsea’s main aim might be to bring in Gordon, and if they fail in that particular pursuit, then Leao could be targeted.

Meanwhile, AC Milan are bracing themselves for offers, although they also hope the player signs a new contract, with two years left on his current deal. Real Madrid are reportedly plotting a move for next year when Leao could be available at a cut-price deal.

But Chelsea may look to jump the queue right now and get the player by paying a premium, although they are unlikely to meet the release clause. However, the outlay on the £80 million-rated Portuguese international will have to be significant for Chelsea to stand a chance of signing him this summer.

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