Summer target wants to sign a new deal with the Italian champions

Rafael Leao wants to sign a new contract with AC Milan despite Chelsea interest

According to Get Italian Football News (h/t Football.London), AC Milan forward Rafael Leao is willing to sign a new contract with the Serie A champions despite summer interest from Chelsea.

The Blues made a late charge in the summer transfer window to sign the Portuguese international, but Milan were adamant that the player won’t leave unless the buyout clause of £129.7m was met. As a result, the west London club tracked back.

Chelsea eventually signed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on the deadline day to add some quality to a forward line that needed more depth in the number nine position and also in wide areas.

Rafael Leao still on Chelsea's transfer radar.
Rafael Leao wants to extend his contract at AC Milan. (Photo by ISABELLA BONOTTO/AFP via Getty Images)

Speaking to Sky Italy, as quoted by Metro, Milan’s technical director Paolo Maldini confirmed the Blues’ interest in Leao. Here’s what the legend said:

“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.”

Leao is, without doubt, one of the sought-after forwards in Europe. He can not only play on either wing but can operate as a striker or a number 10. His goals and assists numbers have been on the ever-improving graph.

The 23-year-old scored 11 goals and assisted 10 in 34 Serie A games last season. He was one of the key components in helping Milan lift the Scudetto after 11 years. In the 2020/21 season, he scored six and assisted six in 30 league appearances. So, the improvement in the final product is tangible.

Chelsea should continue their monitoring of Leao’s situation at Milan. (Photo by Isabella BONOTTO / AFP) (Photo by ISABELLA BONOTTO/AFP via Getty Images)

Keeping all that in mind, we can see why Chelsea made a late attempt to sign him this summer. The player has the potential to be a top player for a number of years to come. Moreover, his peak years are still ahead of him.

Nothing much can be done if the player wants to continue playing for his current club. However, the Blues need to keep an eye out for any developments that can help them attract the forward towards joining them.

More Chelsea News:

If they fail to land Leao, it would not be the end of the world, in all honesty. We already have quality wingers. While the Portugal international can be a prolific winger if he joins us, a young world-class out-and-out centre-forward won’t hurt,