Chelsea hold talks with AC Milan over Rafael Leao

Rafael Leao of AC Milan warm up prior to the Serie A match between Atalanta BC and AC Milan at Gewiss Stadium on August 21, 2022 in Bergamo, Italy.

Chelsea have held talks with AC Milan over a possible deal to bring Portuguese forward Rafael Leao to Stamford Bridge this summer, 90min understands.

Sources confirmed earlier this summer that Chelsea were among the sides monitoring 23-year-old Leao, who was named Serie A’s Most Valuable Player last season after racking up 11 goals and ten assists to fire Milan to the title.

The Blues have maintained contact with Leao’s representatives ever since and 90min has learned that talks between the two clubs have taken place over the past few weeks.

However, Milan have made it abundantly clear that they are not interested in letting Leao leave this summer. Club director Paolo Maldini described the forward as ‘unsellable’ at the end of last season and pointed suitors to his release clause of €150m.

Both Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid registered an interest in Leao earlier this year but both quickly walked away when the cost of getting a deal done this summer became apparent.

Milan are keen to offer Leao a new contract which would significantly raise that release clause and hand the Portugal international an enormous pay rise as a signal of their intent after winning the Serie A title.

As for Chelsea, they continue to negotiate with Barcelona over the signing of 33-year-old Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at the request of Blues boss Thomas Tuchel, who is looking to reunite with his former Borussia Dortmund forward.

Aubameyang is seen as a short-term signing and so Chelsea are looking for a younger option to lead the line in future.

Erling Haaland was on the Blues’ radar before their transfer ban left them unable to rival Manchester City for his signature – a duel they may not have won anyway – and now 23-year-old Leao has plenty of admirers at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea also remain in talks with Everton over a deal for Anthony Gordon and are optimistic about completing a deal for the winger.

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