Chelsea in pole position to sign 23-year-old Portugal international

Chelsea are leading the battle to add Rafael Leao with Milan demanding at least £87m for the attacker, according to reports. The Rossoneri’s technical director Paolo Maldini revealed last month that the Blues made an approach to add Portugal international in the summer transfer window.

Leao played a key role in Milan’s Serie A title success last campaign with 11 goals and eight assists. Rafael has carried over his fantastic form to the new season where he has four goals and seven assists across nine matches in Serie A and the UCL.

The Blues are ‘ahead of everyone’ in the battle to add the 23-year-old winger but Milan will not consider selling him for less than £87m. The Portuguese attracted interest in the summer transfer window but Milan were adamant that he could only leave if his €150m buyout clause was met, though they now appear to have softened their stance.

‘We have already started talking to him. But not now, for a long time. Every renewal can be simple or complicated, the will of the player makes the difference because that of the club is there,’ Maldini said. Maldini has confirmed that Chelsea enquired about Leao’s availability in the summer but their approach was rejected.

‘Chelsea’s officially written offer did not arrive but on an informal level, it did. Of course, it was rejected.’ The Portuguese forward joined the Rossoneri in 2019 from French club Lille and started his career in Primeira Liga with Sporting Lisbon.