Rafael Leão’s a name on every transfer enthusiast’s lips these days, and if it isn’t, it soon will be. The 23-year-old’s breakout season with AC Milan last year has gotten everyone to take notice, and he should be one of the most coveted names in the market next summer — especially if he doesn’t sign a new contract, which would leave him with just one year remaining as things stand.
Chelsea reportedly tried to get the jump on the competition in the expected bidding war in the waning days of the summer transfer window, and that approach has now been confirmed by Milan technical director Paulo Maldini. Of course, Maldini also said that he’s confident that they will be able to agree a new contract with Leão, but let’s focus on the other bit instead.
“We have already started talking to him. But not now, for a long time.
“Every renewal can be simple or complicated, the will of the player makes the difference because that of the club is there. Renewal is an issue that we addressed many months ago. Rafa knows that to become stronger than now the solution is to stay with us. We are a young and growing team. He still has to learn many things but we intend to do great things and grow with him.
“Chelsea’s officially written offer did not arrive but on an informal level it did. Of course, it was rejected.”
-Paulo Maldini; source: Sky Italia via Metro
Chelsea’s bid was supposedly in the region of €100m, well short of the €150m release clause, which is the only way Milan were ever going to do business, especially at the last minute. But we’ll probably be back, and will be hoping that our informal offer has signaled our serious intentions already.