Chelsea handed potentially massively transfer blow as AC Milan target drops contract extension hint

Rafael Leao, Sandro Tonali and Brahim Diaz

It’s no secret that 22-year-old Rafael Leao has been heavily linked to moves to both Chelsea and Real Madrid since the summer, but a tweet from the highly-rated attacker hints that his time with the Rossoneri is not yet over.

The Portugal international has seven goals and six assists across all competitions this season, building on a solid 2021-22 campaign which saw him net 11 times for Milan as he helped them lift their first league title since 2011.

Leao also recently scored an impressive goal in Portugal’s 3-2 win over Ghana in their group stage opener, which is likely to have added another couple million to his price tag.

The 22-year-old has boosted Milan fans’ hopes that he will remain at the club for the foreseeable future, after responding to a compilation on Twitter of Leao’s greatest goals for Milan, by writing “More to come,” along with red and black heart emojis.

Understandably, Milan manager Stefano Piolo is keen to keep Leao at the San Siro and recently revealed to Sky Sports Italia that he expects the forward to sign a new deal.

Piolo said: “Two things are sure, that he is well with us, because I see and talk to him, and that Rafa and the club are talking. We are waiting for good news. I believe that his path with us is not yet finished, I see that we are well together.”

Leao‘s impressive reputation is built on his consistently high-quality performances at club level. At Sporting CP, he was considered one of the top prospects in the youth set-up, which is high praise from a club that has produced players such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Nani and Ricardo Quaresma.

Since joining AC Milan from Lille in 2019, Leao has scored 34 goals and made 30 assists in 135 appearances, giving him an impressive average of 0.47 goal contributions per game.

Leao ready to leave Chelsea, Real in the lurch

If the reports of the 22-year-old’s new contract are to be believed, this will come as a great disappointment for the likes of Chelsea and Real Madrid, who have been eyeing Leao for several months.

It is believed that Milan had been demanding a fee in the region of €100 million, so it is a big statement in regards to Leao’s potential given the Rossoneri would rather extend his time at the San Siro, rather than accept a sizeable offer while his price is at a premium.

Manchester United had also registered an interest in the Portuguese international as an alternative to their pursuit of Cody Gakpo, with Erik Ten Hag reportedly unwilling to pay the Dutchman’s high price tag. So, the United board will once again have to look elsewhere to bolster their attack.

With Leao’s new contract looking likely but yet to be confirmed, the 22-year-old remains focused on Portugal’s round of 16 clash with Switzerland as they look to progress in the World Cup.

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