Chelsea and Man Utd target Rafael Leao confirms transfer decision | Football


Rafael Leao has been linked with both Chelsea and Manchester United

Rafael Leao has been linked with both Chelsea and Manchester United (Picture: Getty)

Chelsea and Manchester United target Rafael Leao insists he is committed to AC Milan despite having ambitions of playing Premier League football ‘in the future’.

Portugal World Cup star Leao has emerged as a target for Chelsea and Man United after starring for Italian giants AC Milan since 2019.

Leao has made more than 40 appearances in each of the last three seasons, scoring 34 goals since completing a 35m euros move from Lille.

Reports claim Chelsea and Manchester United are hoping to secure a deal for Leao either in January or next summer, but the 23-year-old insists he will see out his current contract at AC Milan, which expires at the end of next season.

Asked if he was keen to play in the Premier League, Leao told RDP Africa, via TMW: ‘Yes, in the future.

‘But now I’m 100 per cent focused on Milan. I’m at a top club and I’m under contract. I also like the city of Milan.’

Chelsea have shown the most interest in Leao but the forward picked out one of the Blues’ London rivals when asked to name a team who has impressed him this season.

Leao impressed for Portugal at the Qatar World Cup

Leao impressed for Portugal at the Qatar World Cup (Picture: Getty)

‘I’ve seen a lot of games this year,’ he added. ‘I like Arsenal, I think they play very well.’

AC Milan boss Stefano Pioli addressed the speculation over Leao earlier this month and urged the Portuguese star to sign a new contract.

‘I advise him to sign a new deal and stay at Milan. I see Rafa very happy here,’ Pioli told Sky Sports.

On specific links with Chelsea, Pioli added: ‘Leao here will have the chance to improve again, he feels good at Milan with this group.’

Leao’s former team-mate Zlatan Ibrahimovic echoed Pioli’s sentiment recently, saying: ‘Of course, Milan is the right environment for him.

‘Just look at his growth, when he arrived, he was far from the decisive player he is today. Here he is very important for us, elsewhere would he be as important? He would have to start from scratch, you can’t be sure he would be ready right away.

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‘At Milan he has confidence, space and freedom, which is not a given at another club, it’s up to you. Besides, you can see that he is happy here, by now he is laughing even before scoring. He is the young man who has grown the most.

‘Theo has improved so much, De Ketelaere is strong, and patience is needed. But Leao is on another level, above average. He lacks a step, he will only do it when he is fully convinced of his abilities.

‘Today even he doesn’t really know how strong he is. Then he will be really scary. And the price will go up.’


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