AC Milan sporting director Paolo Maldini has confirmed Chelsea’s interest in Milan superstar Rafael Leão, although the Rossoneri were left relatively cold.
“Chelsea didn’t make an official offer for Leão – but they made a verbal offer which we of course rejected,” explained Maldini.
“He knows that staying here is the best way to improve. We want to achieve great things in our project with Rafa Leão,” added the former world-class defender.
After the departures of Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku, Chelsea have been looking for reinforcements for the offensive alongside Raheem Sterling for a long time in the summer.
In the end, however, only Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang came, and homegrown Armando Broja was also promoted to the pros – probably also because Leão would have cost the Blues dearly.
Noisy Gazzetta dello Sport Milan would have called around 150 million euros for his 23-year-old Portuguese superstar, which would have corresponded to an exit clause that was valid until July.
This would also have been a record transfer for Chelsea, as the Blues’ most expensive new signing so far has been Lukaku, who came from Milan’s city rivals Inter in 2021 for around 113 million euros.