Chelsea may have suffered a potential blow in their chase of AC Milan’s Portuguese star Rafael Leao.
What’s the word?
Fabrizio Romano took to Twitter on Monday to share quotes from the Serie A champions’ sporting director Frederic Massara on their attempts to extend the 23-year-old’s contract at the San Siro, which would quash the Blues’ continuing and long-held hopes of bringing the player to Stamford Bridge.
Massara said about the player’s contract situation: “We’re confident to reach an agreement with Leão and extend his contract. We’ll try to find a solution to proceed with Rafa for long time. His father’s here tonight, we’ll speak during the dinner.”
Amidst Massara’s confidence in persuading the Portugal forward to commit his long-term future to Milan, the latest update relayed by Romano does not bode well from a Chelsea perspective.
If the Blues are to miss out on a star of Leao’s ilk, it will of course serve as a big miss for Todd Boehly and co, with the owner making clear his intentions to send out statements in the transfer market by bankrolling a Premier League-high £253.8m summer spending spree.
At 23 years of age, Leao is delivering for Milan consistently and has garnered a reputation as a direct attacking threat from wide areas, causing havoc among opposition defences with his ability to occupy a variety of spaces within the final third.
A return of 11 goals and eight assists came as a result of this emergence in Serie A last season, with a further four goals and four assists making for a solid start to the current domestic campaign, having helped himself to these returns from just nine Serie A games so far.
Leao most certainly has the quality to shine for Chelsea, judging by his scoring figures. However, with Massara eyeing an opportunity at the Ballon D’Or ceremony to extend the Portugal gem’s stay at Milan, we may not get to see him showcasing his qualities at Stamford Bridge for some time.