Chelsea transfer news: Man City join race for top transfer target

Rafael Leao, Milan, 2022/23

Manchester City are interested in signing Chelsea target Rafael Leao from AC Milan, according to reports.

Chelsea tried to bring Leao to Stamford Bridge in the summer transfer window, but were unable to convince Milan to sell.

The Italian outfit wanted well over €100 million for the reigning Serie A player of the season.

The Blues are expected to return to the negotiating table next summer, but will face competition from Pep Guardiola’s City, according to CalcioMercato.

How good is Rafael Leao?

Leao was heavily involved in Milan’s title-winning team of last season, spurring his side on to a first championship win since 2011.

The forward scored 11 league goals (14 in all competitions), a crucial component to a young team that surprised many to win Serie A.

+ Rafael Leão

As the interactive graphic above shows, data analytics experts SciSports ranked Leao fourth among all wingers in Serie A who played more than 450 minutes of football.

Prior to that, he had two promising but unremarkable campaigns at San Siro after making a big-money move from Lille, where he impressed in a single Ligue 1 season.

Last term was his breakthrough campaign, with 11 goals and 10 assists in 34 matches as Milan went on to win the Serie A title.

Leao to Chelsea?

Paolo Maldini, Milan’s Sporting Director, confirmed Chelsea’s summer interest, but which was rejected by the club: ”Chelsea hadn’t sent any official bid for Leao — but they made a verbal proposal and we rejected it, of course.

”He knows that staying here is the best way to improve. We want to do great things with Rafa Leao in our project,” Maldini added, suggesting Leao knows his high ranking with the Rossoneri squad.

It’s expected that Leao will continue to be of interest to Chelsea but will also have other suitors, including Manchester City.

And he has already started the 2022-23 season well, with three goals and three assists in six league games. He also played a starring role in Milan’s derby win over Inter.

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