AC Milan head coach Stefano Pioli has opened up about the future of star forward Rafael Leao , who has been linked with a permanent move to Chelsea in the ongoing transfer window. Leao, who has two years left on his current deal at the San Siro, shot to prominence with his impressive performances on the left flank last term.
During the 2021-22 season, the forward registered 14 goals and 12 assists in 42 matches across all competitions for AC Milan. According to The Times , Chelsea are monitoring the forward’s situation, with a player-plus-cash deal potentially on the cards. The report adds that negotiations are currently ongoing with the player, who is interested in securing a move to the Premier League.
Meanwhile, AC Milan are aiming to extend Leao’s deal until 2027 by offering him a lucrative salary, as per Milan News. Speaking to Pianeta Milan , Pioli heaped praise on Leao and claimed that he is not troubled by the player’s contract situation. He said:
“If he maintains this level, yes [he will be offered a new deal]. Otherwise, [Ante] Rebic is there. I’m not at all worried about contractual matters, you can see that he is happy to be with us.”
“Potentially, he is a champion, for strength and ability to jump. He has many goals in his legs, even more than last year. He has grown a lot without the ball, now he must be able to occupy the area better.”
Leao, who rose through the ranks of Sporting CP during his early career, joined AC Milan from Lille for £19.5 million in the summer of 2019. Earlier this month, he received his first-ever Ballon d’Or nomination. The Blues have made six major additions to their squad this summer.
The club have signed Raheem Sterling, Kalidou Koulibaly, Marc Cucurella, Carney Chukwuemeka, Cesare Casadei and Gabriel Slonina for a combined sum of over £180 million.