Chelsea can replicate PSG and Barcelona transfer trick to save Todd Boehly millions on target


Chelsea’s pursuit to lure Rafael Leao from AC Milan has been a long-standing battle, with the Italian side desperate to keep hold of their talented forward. The 23-year-old was heavily linked with a move to Stamford Bridge in the summer as Todd Boehly seeked further reinforcements in the final third.


However, a deal was not concluded and the Portugal international has continued to impress in Italy. Leao has scored four Serie A goals, assisting another five, in nine games as I Rossoneri attempt to retain their league title under Stefano Pioli. He also was presented with two auditions against Chelsea this month in the Champions League, but failed to find the target in either fixtures.


Recently, reports have stated that Milan have stepped up their efforts to secure Leao’s future at the San Siro, with sporting director Ricky Massara suggesting they are “confident” of keeping hold of him. Despite Massara’s comments, Italian journalist Cristiano Ruiu has insisted that the forward is likely to be sold rather than have his contract renewed.


Writing for Calciomercato , Ruiu has commented on Chelsea’s interest in the player. The Blues could wait out Leao’s contract in Italy to sign him on a free transfer. His contract is due to expire in June 2024, leaving Milan 18 months to either accept defeat in their bid to keep hold of their talisman or risk losing him on a free transfer. For supporters of the Italian champions, the thought of losing one of their best players on a free transfer isn’t an unusual one.


Over the past few seasons, Milan have allowed Gianluigi Donnarumma (PSG), Hakan Çalhanoglu (Inter) and Franck Kessie (Barcelona) to all run down their contracts and leave on a free transfer. Unlike the three mentioned above, Milan ‘have more time to negotiate the conditions of an exit’ for Leao to avoid the ‘unforgivable economic sacrilege’ of losing him on a free transfer.


Ruiu also stated he expects ‘him to be sold either in June 2023, or even in January’. Boehly was busy in his first transfer window in England and is expected to continue the trend next summer as he continues to re-shape the Chelsea squad with Graham Potter. While the prospect of delaying the move for Leao may leave the door open for others to swoop in for Leao, it could save the American businessman €120 million (£104 million) to invest elsewhere in the squad.

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