Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League • England

Rafael Leao future: Tottenham, Chelsea urged to act as Euro giants draw up colossal bid for Milan star

AC Milan star Rafael Leao

Rafael Leao continues to be the subject of intense speculation and reports are now claiming the Tottenham and Chelsea-linked forward is a target for Paris Saint-Germain.

AC Milan spent €35million (£32m) to sign Leao from French club Lille in August 2019. The left winger had a relatively slow start to life at the San Siro as he got used to Milan’s way of playing and the Italian league as a whole.

Leao became an integral part of the Milan side last season, registering 14 goals and 12 assists in all competitions. His electric displays in attack helped the Rossoneri win their first Serie A title since 2010-11, while they also reached the semi-final of the Coppa Italia.

Leao has started the new campaign brightly, finding the net in four out of eight Serie A matches so far. He has also put in some impressive performances in the Champions League, though he is yet to register a goal in the competition.

Chelsea have been targeting the 23-year-old for several months. Chairman and co-owner Todd Boehly wants to make a big statement and bring Leao to Stamford Bridge.

In September, Milan technical director Paolo Maldini confirmed Chelsea had tried to sign the player during the summer transfer window. He said: “In the summer, Chelsea sent us an offer, albeit unwritten, for Leao: we turned it down.

“I think the best thing for him is to continue growing here with us. Non-transferable? In words everyone can be, then you have to see what offers arrive.”

New Blues boss Graham Potter has done little to quash the rumours, either. He has called the Portuguese ‘a top player’, sending the transfer reports into overdrive.

Spurs, PSG join Chelsea in wanting Rafael Leao

However, Chelsea will face serious competition in their bid to sign Leao. London rivals Tottenham have recently emerged on his trail, setting up a Premier League battle for Leao.

And now PSG are involved in the pursuit. According to French source Media Foot, the Ligue 1 giants are coming up with a ‘radical’ plan to snare Leao.

And they are willing to match his huge release clause to do this. Milan are protected by a whopping €150m (£132m) release clause, but PSG are drawing an offer worth exactly this amount.

Leao swapping Milan for PSG at this price would make him one of the most expensive players of all time.

Some would argue there is no point in Leao going to PSG as they already have an embarrassment of riches up front. The attacking trio tends to be world-class stars Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.

Despite this, PSG are confident about convincing Leao to join. He has already lived in France once, during his time with Lille, and would seemingly welcome a return there.

English sides still have hope

Spurs and Chelsea are certainly behind Christophe Galtier’s team in the pecking order right now. But all is not lost in the race for Leao’s signature.

According to reports in Italy, which are cited by Sport Witness, the £132m release clause is only valid during the first two weeks of July.

This gives Spurs and Chelsea the opportunity to bid for Leao in January. And if PSG are unwilling to sign him then, the goalscorer could actually end up moving to England.

Alternatively, if PSG miss the two-week release clause deadline in the summer, then Spurs and Chelsea would have a good chance to land Leao later in the second transfer window of the year.

Given what we know about Spurs and Chelsea’s finances, the Blues are far more likely to spend over £100m on a player than Spurs.

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy does not like to pay over the odds for players if he can help it. This could rule Spurs out of the chase for Leao.

Chelsea chairman Boehly, in contrast, has already shown he is willing to spend huge sums of money to take his team back to the top.

Meanwhile, Spurs are at risk of losing a £50m target to Arsenal amid claims the Gunners are plotting a swoop for him.