Arsenal and Chelsea missed out on the chance to sign AC Milan star Rafael Leao in the summer transfer window. The Portugal international had been linked with a move to the Premier League after talks over a contract renewal at the San Siro had stalled.
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Leao was crowned as Serie A Most Valuable Player and Serie A Football of the Year after scoring 14 goals and providing a further 12 assists in all competitions for Milan last season. The Blues got a first-hand look at the winger earlier this season in the Champions League group stages. Reece James claimed the Milan forward was one of the toughest wingers he has faced in his career.
AC Milan are closing in on an agreement to extend Rafael Leão’s contract
Leao always had a dream of playing in England. AC Milan sporting director Frederic Massara said earlier this season: “We’re confident to reach an agreement with Rafael Leao and extend his contract.” That agreement has now been reached between the Italian outfit and the player with The Athletic reporting that Leao has signed a new long-term deal at the San Siro. The 23-year-old, who joined Milan from Lille in August 2018, has been rewarded with a new deal. He helped his side progress to the semi-final stage of the Champions League.
Milan will on their fierce rivals Inter in their Champions League semi-final first-leg. Both ties are being played at the San Siro given both clubs share the stadium. Leao may not feature for AC Milan after picking up a thigh injury in the 2-0 win over Lazio on Saturday.
Chelsea were keen on signing Leao last summer. They reinforced their attack with the arrivals of Mykhailo Mudryk, Noni Madueke, and Raheem Sterling. Christopher Nkunku is set to complete a move to Stamford Bridge this summer after signing a pre-contract agreement earlier this season.
Arsenal signed Leandro Trossard in January. They are still searching for a versatile attacker to join the Belgian. The Gunners have been linked with a move for Raphinha once again after the Brazilian signed for Barcelona last summer.