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Pep Guardiola ‘promised by Manchester City that club will move for Rafael Leao’

Pep Guardiola ‘promised by Manchester City that club will move for Rafael Leao’

Manchester City have reportedly promised head coach Pep Guardiola that the club will make an attempt to bring AC Milan attacker Rafael Leao to the Etihad Stadium.

Last week, it was announced that Guardiola had signed a new contract with the Citizens, taking him until the end of the 2024-25 campaign.

According to Fichajes, Man City’s upcoming transfer business was discussed during the renewal talks, with Guardiola wanting to know the club’s plans for the next few windows.

The report claims that the Premier League champions are planning to bring another high-profile attacker to the club next summer, with Leao identified as their leading target in that area of the field.

Man City have allegedly promised Guardiola that they will do ‘everything possible’ to secure the signature of the forward, who is currently representing Portugal at the 2022 World Cup.

AC Milan's Rafael Leao celebrates scoring their third goal on September 3, 2022© Reuters

Chelsea were heavily linked with Leao over the summer, with the Blues said to have had at least one offer rejected for him late in the transfer window.

Meanwhile, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Barcelona are also said to be admirers of the attacker, and Milan are not in a strong position when it comes to his future, with his current deal due to expire in June 2024.

There have been been discussions over a potential new deal at San Siro, but the Italian champions have not yet been able to come to an agreement with the in-demand forward.

“It’s true that clubs can chat, but we have not had any approaches after the transfer window closed. Now Rafa has to concentrate on this season and he’s doing it very well,” Milan director Paolo Maldini told Mediaset last month.

Rafael Leao celebrates scoring for AC Milan on August 27, 2022© Reuters

“We’d like to have the contract sorted before the World Cup, in fact we had hoped to get it done six months ago, but we need the right conditions. Our idea is to get it done before November 12, then we’ll see what happens.”

Leao was in strong form at club level during the 2021-22 campaign, making 42 appearances in all competitions, scoring 14 goals and contributing 12 assists in the process.

The Portuguese has also made an impressive start to this season, scoring seven goals and registering nine assists in 20 appearances in all competitions.

Leao has six goals and five assists in 14 Serie A matches during the 2022-23 campaign, in addition to contributing one goal and four assists in six Champions League group-stage fixtures.

The forward was also on the scoresheet in Portugal’s World Cup opener against Ghana on Thursday, finding the back of the net in the 80th minute, just three minutes after entering the field as a substitute.

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