AC Milan’s efforts to extend the contract of Rafael Leao have hit a snag, thus boosting Chelsea’s chances of a transfer in January.
According to Daily Mirror, Chelsea’s chances of signing Rafael Leao have improved due to complications between the player and AC Milan in their contract talks. The Rossoneri are not prepared to accept the Portuguese star’s ‘unattainable’ financial demands.
Rafael Leao has emerged as one of the top talents since joining AC Milan. The Portuguese winger has formed a substantial part of Stefano Pioli’s system. He won the Serie A MVP gong last season for his exploits to help Milan secure the league title. Since then, interest has been rife in the Premier League.
Chelsea and Manchester City are keen, with the Premier League giants considering a January move. The Blues made serious enquiries around the summer window, but AC Milan shut the door insisting the player was not for sale.
Milan want to extend his current deal, which runs out in 2024. Leao’s situation complicates negotiations with former side Sporting CP. The winger reportedly owes €19 million to the Portuguese side. It stems from a contract dispute that saw many stars, including Leao, leave on free transfers.
The media report claims the complication has resulted in Leao demanding a €9-10 million salary package. In their history, Milan have never paid such sums to a single player, and they might stick to their guns during negotiations. Hence, the Serie A giants might re-consider their initial stance and decide to cash in on the Portuguese attacker in January.
Chelsea will be ready to make a sizeable offer if the complications continue to harm Milan’s chances. Graham Potter reportedly prefers Leao over other players. He also praised the player during Chelsea’s recent games with Milan in the Champions League.
Leao would reportedly command transfer fees of over €100 million. Chelsea would have many competitors along the way, including Manchester City. For now, it may seem that Leao would prefer to stay in Milan, although if financial demands are not met, he could consider his options.
Chelsea or Manchester City would pay a sizeable salary for in-demand players like the Serie A attacker. Whether they go beyond their way to solving Leao’s troubles with Sporting could also become a talking point. For now, the Milan talisman is a notable name in the market, and his performances at the World Cup could also affect things in January.