Chelsea to offer Milan players in exchange for Rafael Leao

James Shearman 29 Sep 2022 18:29 BST 3 min read
Rafael Leao, Milan, 2022/23

Chelsea could offer Milan players in exchange for star striker Rafael Leao next summer, having failed to sign the 23-year-old in the recent transfer window.

The Blues made an offer for Leao, which was turned down, as Milan are looking to receive the player's €150m release clause.

Understandably, despite Leao's talent, Graham Potter's side will not be willing to match that asking price.

So, one way that Chelsea can look to reduce the fee is by including players.

And Milan would be interested in the services of Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic, according to La Gazzetta Dello Sport.

Both players fell out of favour under former manager Thomas Tuchel and had been rumoured with exits from Stamford Bridge.

The arrival of Potter could provide them with a fresh start, thought it would not be a surprise if either of them are not in the English bosses' plans.

Rafael Leao's contract situation

Rafael Leao is only under contract with AC Milan until 2024. And If no new deal is agreed before then, Milan may be forced to sell.

The Rossoneri have been stung by the likes of Gianluigi Donnarumma and Franck Kessie departing the club as free agents in recent years.

One of the challenges that the Italian side face is giving Leao a wage that can compete with the Premier League sides.

Tuttosport reports that Milan have made him an offer of €6m per season that could ultimately rise to €7m if bonuses are met.

Such a figure is unlikely to deter a Premier League side from attempting to snap up a player that they rate highly.

Leao has scored 17 goals and created 17 more since the beginning of the 2021/22 season, and aged just 23, these elite clubs will believe there is more to come from him.

For Chelsea, a wage of €7m per year corresponds to the average squad player. Callum Hudson-Odoi, for example, reputedly earns a little over that figure.

This helps to highlight the spending power of the Premier League clubs and shows why both Chelsea and Manchester City hold high hopes of being able to sign Leao, if not in January, then potentially in summer 2023.