Milan were very determined to keep Rafael Leão beyond the 2022 summer transfer window, rebuffing a heavy bid from Chelsea in the dying stage of the market.
Elaborating on the background of the short-lived saga, Sky Sport Italia journalist Gianluca Di Marzio confirmed that there was a last-ditch attempt from the Premier League club to lure the winger away from the Serie A champions. But as it was a late bid, there was no time to complete a move of such magnitude.
Speaking to Sky Italia, Di Marzio said:
“Chelsea wanted Leao and were willing to spend €70-€80 million in the last days of the transfer market. But there was no time for such a deal: Milan did not have the time to find a replacement, even though he really liked Ziyech.”
In the 2022/23 season, the winger has made a brilliant start, racking up three goals and six assists from eight appearances across all competitions. With his contract with Milan expiring in June 2024, there have been reports of the Rossoneri management planning for his contract extension.
On Leão’s renewal, Di Marzio commented:
“I am sure that if Leao does not renew, Chelsea will return to the office and make a new attempt. The problem for Milan is precisely that: the player’s contract, which expires in 2024. If he doesn’t renew in the next few months, I think Chelsea will come forward again.”
GIFN | Jyoitrmoy Halder