Chelsea have received a setback in their pursuit of AC Milan forward Rafael Leao. This comes after the reigning Italian champions’ manager Stefano Pioli claims that he has urged the Portuguese star to sign a new deal with them rather than join the Premier League club.
Chelsea Get an Ominous Update on Rafael Leao
AC Milan Manager Wants Leao to Stay Amid Chelsea Links
The Blues have been quite impressed with Leao’s development in the Serie A and with how he performed against them at the Champions League group stage earlier this season. Their interest has been amplified by the fact that his contract will expire in 2024 and he is yet to sign a long-term extension with his club.
When questioned about Leao’s inability to sign a new contract yet, Pioli said: “I advise him to sign a new deal and stay at Milan. I see Rafa very happy here”. The Italian manager was also asked about his thoughts on persistent links between the forward and Chelsea.
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He replied: “Leao here will have the chance to improve again, he feels good at Milan with this group”. It appears that the 23-year-old forward has not indicated any desire to leave his club yet and that will only make it harder for the Premier League heavyweights to sign him next summer.
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Chelsea have surprised many by pulling off a shocking deal for RB Leipzig forward Christopher Nkunku during a point when the transfer window is closed. They are clearly serious about buffing up their attacking strength after struggling to score goals this season, with a lack of striker options after Armando Broja’s injury.
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Graham Potter is a known admirer of Leao, having praised his overall quality and skillset earlier this season. The Portuguese winger had a good debut World Cup, scoring two goals in five games for Portugal. He also has seven goals and nine assists across all competitions for Milan this season.