Nine-figure Chelsea bid for title-winning attacker foiled as Euro giants prime defensive measures

Rafael Leao, AC Milan, October 2022

A nine-figure Chelsea bid for striker Rafael Leao would not be enough for AC Milan to sell, as they are preparing a deterrent, according to a report.

Leao has become one of the most sought after stars in Europe of late. Ending a Serie A season as the title-winners’ joint-top goalscorer will help with that.

Indeed, the Portuguese scored 11 league goals as well as providing 10 assists last season, as AC Milan won Serie A.

That led to summer interest from some of the Premier League’s biggest sides. Chelsea and Manchester City were the two that cropped up with links most often.

Continuing in top form has meant Leao’s suitors have not backed down. Indeed, in 11 league appearances this season, the forward has scored five goals and registered a further five assists.

His form has been just as mesmeric in the Champions League. Leao’s combined tally of goals and assists so far in Europe’s top competition is five in six games.

Chelsea got to see first hand how effective he can be, as they were in the same group as AC Milan.

While Leao was kept quiet against the Blues, it is likely they were keeping a keen eye on how he performed otherwise.

It seems they were impressed with what they saw from the striker. A recent report stated that Milan are now expecting both Chelsea and City to come with bids in January.

Leao transfer blocked by Milan

Naturally, Milan will want to keep their prized asset under lock and key. It seems they are ready to do whatever it takes to make that happen.

Gazzetta dello Sport reports that even a €100million (approx £87million) bid from Chelsea would be rejected. The report states that Chelsea bid will ‘almost certainly’ be made if Leao has a good World Cup with Portugal.

Milan are priming their defences as they await the Blues’ attempts to strike. According to the report, a new contract for Leao is in the works.

His deal is up in 2024, so tying him down will be a big hope. Talks are ongoing, though an agreement is not close, as Leao’s demands are ‘far apart’ from what Milan are hoping for.

Transfer interest could prevail

With that being said, a transfer could still be the most likely route.

If the parties cannot come to an arrangement on a deal, Milan might be forced to sell. They would not want to get to a point where their star man could leave for free.

Especially not when talk of figures in the region of £87million are currently being thrown around.

Losing out on both a star player and a fee in that region would be the absolute worst case. Whether or not Milan and Leao will come to an agreement remains to be seen.

Chelsea will no doubt be waiting in the wings to see what happens in the situation.