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Chelsea ‘would have to pay in excess of £100m for Rafael Leao’

Chelsea ‘would have to pay in excess of £100m for Rafael Leao’

Chelsea would reportedly have to offer in the region of €120m (£101m) to tempt AC Milan into selling Rafael Leao in the final week of the summer transfer window.

The 23-year-old enjoyed an impressive 2021-22 campaign for his Italian club, scoring 14 goals and registering 12 assists in 42 appearances in all competitions.

Meanwhile, the Portugal international scored 11 goals and registered 10 assists in 34 Serie A appearances, as the Milan giants won the Serie A title for the 19th time.

Leao is yet to find the back of the net in the league this season but has helped his side take four points from their first two matches against Udinese and Atalanta BC.

Chelsea are believed to be interested in the Portuguese, with the Blues looking to bring at least one new forward to Stamford Bridge before the end of the transfer window.

AC Milan's Rafael Leao celebrates scoring their first goal on February 24, 2022© Reuters

There is believed to be a €150m (£127.4m) release clause in his contract at San Siro, but according to Calciomercato, it will not be valid in the final week of the transfer window.

As a result, the Blues would need to negotiate a transfer fee with Milan, and the report claims that a bid of at least €120m (£101m) would be required to stand a chance of signing him.

“I don’t see any problem with Rafael Leao. He’s not distracted by transfer rumours, he’s focused on working at best level,” Milan boss Stefano Pioli told reporters when questioned on the situation.

Meanwhile, earlier this year, Milan sporting director Paolo Maldini called Leao “untouchable” at the club.

“We consider Rafa Leao untouchable, although there is a clause of €150m (£127.4m),” Gazzetta dello Sport quoted Maldini as saying at the time.

Barcelona forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on February 6, 2022© Reuters

Leao has been with Milan since August 2019, representing the club on 117 occasions in all competitions, scoring 27 goals and registering 21 assists in the process.

Chelsea allowed Romelu Lukaku to return on loan to Inter Milan for the 2022-23 campaign, while Timo Werner has rejoined RB Leipzig, leaving the Blues short of options in the final third of then field.

Thomas Tuchel‘s side continue to be strongly linked with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who has lost his starting role at Barcelona this season following the arrival of Robert Lewandowski.

However, Manchester United are also now said to be in the race for Aubameyang, which could force Chelsea to explore alternative options before the end of the transfer window.

The Blues will be bidding to bounce back from their 3-0 defeat at Leeds United when they continue their Premier League season at home to Leicester City on Saturday afternoon.

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