Chelsea are reportedly in pole position to secure the services of exciting Portuguese winger Rafael Leao from AC Milan.

According to Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera, as relayed by the Daily Star, Chelsea are at the front of the queue to sign Rafael Leao in 2023, as they look to make another blockbuster signing after landing RB Leipzig’s Christopher Nkunku.

The Portuguese international joined AC Milan from LOSC Lille in 2019 and has steadily established himself as one of Europe’s most promising wingers at San Siro. The 23-year-old was a major driving force behind AC Milan’s Serie A title success last season with 11 goals and eight assists. He has carried over his red-hot form to the new campaign, with four goals and seven assists in nine games in Serie A and the UEFA Champions League.

With just under two years remaining on his current contract, and negotiations over a new deal with Milan at a standstill, it is safe to say the player has no shortage of elite suitors. However, as per reports in Italy, Chelsea are ahead of the pack of clubs when it comes to the prospect of landing the signature of the AC Milan attacker, although he is unlikely to be sold for anything less than €100 million.

Despite having a pre-contract agreement for the future transfer of Christopher Nkunku, Chelsea are still pushing for AC Milan’s Leao in the background. The Blues had a bid worth over €80 million knocked back for Leao late in the summer transfer window but are expected to try again for the forward in January or next summer.

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Chelsea’s admiration of Leao is not a secret, with head coach Graham Potter heaping praise on the Portuguese international ahead of Chelsea’s Champions League encounter with AC Milan tonight. That has fuelled even more speculation that the Blues could launch a mega-money January swoop for the attacker.

Having nearly wrapped up a deal for Nkunku, securing yet another one of Europe’s highly-coveted attackers in Leao would no doubt be a serious statement of Todd Boehly’s ambitions for the west London club.

Having said that, a deal is far from a foregone conclusion just yet, with Real Madrid and Manchester City also credited with having a strong interest in the player. Meanwhile, Milan are still confident and determined to reach an agreement over a new contract with their talisman.

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