Rafa Leao’s contract extension with AC Milan is expected to include a €20 million down payment, ending Chelsea’s pursuit of the Portugal winger.
Leao’s contract at the San Siro expires in the summer of 2024, and the club has been scrambling to extend it. Chelsea and Manchester City are two clubs that have expressed interest in Leao.
Even though Milan declined the Blues’ offer last summer, sporting director and club veteran Paolo Maldini stated that he believed the player’s career would be best benefited by remaining in Italy.
Despite the fact that Milan cannot match Chelsea financially—Ismael Bennacer, the highest-paid player for the Rossoneri at €7 million annually, ranks only as Chelsea’s 15th-best paid player—the Serie A team does have a competitive advantage.
Milan will cover Leao’s sporting penalty
“Leao’s contract with Sporting Lisbon would have been terminated unilaterally in 2018, and Milan will agree to pay Sporting Lisbon the nearly €19 million he would have been required to pay. Leao would thus become one of the most paid members of the squad, earning €5m net annually “Relevo, please.
After being attacked by supporters at Sporting’s practice facility along with other players, Leao left the team and later joined Lille on a free transfer. The winger was acquired by Milan for €30 million after just one season in France, and according to FootballTransfers’ in-house algorithm, he is now worth €70 million.
At Milan, Leao has developed into one of the game’s most lethal players. He has contributed to 10 goals and seven assists this season from 26 Serie A games, scoring one goal for every 113 minutes he has played.
Leao may not have found a second suitor for Chelsea anyway. In an effort to balance their books amid Financial Fair Play concerns, the Blues are planning a fire sale this summer. They reportedly also agreed to a deal for RB Leipzig’s Christopher Nkunku after Milan rejected their offer for Leao.