Chelsea “will be back for talks” over AC Milan’s Portuguese star Rafael Leao, with the club setting their sights on “one of the most entertaining footballers in the world.”
What’s the word?
That is according to transfer insider Dean Jones, who has informed GIVEMESPORT of Chelsea’s desire to sign the 23-year-old, whom he believes would offer more to the side than Kai Havertz currently does.
The insider expects the Stamford Bridge outfit to test AC Milan’s resolve by diving back into discussions next summer, after the Blues’ initial proposal of £61million, plus add-ons, fell well short of Milan’s expectations.
Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, Jones said: “Leao is a bit more dynamic than Havertz. The way he plays is with more thrust and bursts and, at the moment, I genuinely think he is one of the most entertaining footballers in the world.
“Chelsea will be back for talks about him at the end of the season.”
Potter’s potential “Starboy”
After chipping in with 26 attacking returns in 42 appearances for Milan last season, “starboy” Leao, as dubbed by Italian football TV, has asserted himself as a key figure for the Rossoneri, finishing the domestic season as their joint top goalscorer with 11 goals and finishing as the lead assists provider with eight assists.
And the Portugal international has brought that form into the new campaign at an even greater tempo.
His first eight games of the new campaign have seen him notch a staggering nine goal contributions in the form of three goals and six assists in all competitions, with his ability as an inside forward clearly of elite ilk.
There is so much more to Leao’s game, though, which makes him such a sought-after prospect for some of Europe’s elite clubs.
His ability to progress the ball also makes him stand out, with his match average of 8.79 progressive carries and 3.32 carries into the final third placing him well within the top 10% of positionally similar players.
With Potter’s appreciation of wide-men and more recent love of denying central space, Leao could find himself in somewhat of a free roam role at Chelsea, in a move that could see the 23-year-old reach elite status as a goalscoring forward.
The new Chelsea boss would majorly benefit from a greater threat in the half-space, though, it could set the club back a fair bob, with a fee just shy of £132million mooted as his buyout clause.