Rafael Leao turns down Chelsea approach to stay at AC Milan

Rafael Leao has reportedly turned down approaches from Chelsea and Real Madrid in favour of remaining with AC Milan.

Leao’s future has been uncertain and Europe’s top clubs are monitoring his situation at Milan, with the winger’s current contract set to expire in 2024.


Leao has emerged as one of Serie A’s finest talents across the past two campaigns and was named as Serie A Footballer of the Year as Milan won the Scudetto in 2021/22, before impressing during the Rossoneri’s run to the Champions League semi-finals this season.

The 23-year-old was the star of Milan’s quarter-final win over Napoli and produced a stunning solo assist for Olivier Giroud’s goal as Stefano Pioli’s side progressed to the last four.

La Gazzetta dello Sport are reporting that both Chelsea and Real Madrid have made approaches to sign the Portugal international, but Leao is set to snub interest from abroad in favour of committing to a new deal at the San Siro.

Leao’s salary demands are not expected to be an issue during renewal talks, though there remains a dispute with the forward’s former side Sporting Lisbon. Leao unilaterally terminated his contract with Sporting in 2018, citing that a training ground invasion from angered ultras represented a breach of contract.

Sporting have since lodged a number of appeals and FIFA have confirmed that Leao and Lille – the French side he joined on a free transfer before moving to Milan – owe the Portuguese side at least €20.5m, a figure which could still rise.

Milan have so far refused to contribute to that fee and it remains unclear whether there has been a shift of stance as the club look to persuade Leao to sign a new deal.

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