Major boost for Man Utd, Man City as key £80m target hits roadblock in contract talks with Serie A club

AC Milan could be forced to sell Rafael Leao this summer if they fail to tie him down to a new contract, amid interest from Manchester City and Manchester United. 

The Rossoneri will reportedly use the international break to continue talks with the Portugal international’s representatives, with the player keen on staying at the San Siro.

However, there is currently a big gap between Milan’s contract offer and Leao’s demands, leading to growing speculation surrounding his future.

According to Calciomercato, the Italian giants put forward an offer of around €6m (£5.3m) per season (not including bonuses), but Leao wants a fixed wage of f €7.5m (£6.6m).

Two key points are set to be discussed in the next round of talks: firstly, the wage offer, and secondly, help with the payment of a €15m (£13.2m) fine to Sporting Lisbon, which Leao is being forced to pay after terminating his contract with the Portuguese club in 2019. 

Leao’s current contract at the San Siro is set to expire in the summer of 2024, so if he fails to pen an extension, this summer would represent Milan’s last chance to get a sizeable transfer fee for his services.

READ MORE: Man Utd takeover latest: Glazers could receive eight bids for club today as bidding war heats up

Manchester rivals pushing for Leao

As previously reported by TEAMtalk, Leao is one of several high-profile targets that Manchester United are thought to be interested in signing ahead of next season.

However, bitter rivals Manchester City have also been credited with an interest in the 23-year-old, so we could be set for a bidding war between the pair this summer.

Given Leao’s recent form for Milan, it’s unsurprising to see the Premier League duo vying for his signature.

Overall, since joining the Rossoneri in 2019, the Portugal international has made 150 appearances, scoring 36 goals and making 31 assists, giving him an impressive average of 0.45 goal contributions per game.

A versatile player, Leao has the ability to play as a centre forward or as a left winger, so could provide cover in a number of areas for Erik ten Hag or Pep Guardiola.

With that in mind, Leao arguably has the quality to turn United into title contenders, or to reassert City’s spot at the top of the Premier League.

However, even with just one year remaining on his deal, he could still command a hefty transfer fee, with Transfermarkt valuing the attacker at approximately £80m.

Given Leao is still relatively young, he has the potential to get even better than he already is, so could prove to be an excellent long-term investment for one of the Manchester clubs.

Therefore, it will be interesting to see if either team make a concrete offer in the coming months.

READ MORE: Star Leeds United man ridicules missed transfer claims as Arsenal, Man City, Juventus talk is put to bed