GdS: Exhaustion, exclusion and renewal problems – Milan and Leao never so far apart

By Oliver Fisher -

Rafael Leao’s future remains a puzzle amid a difficult current moment, and a report claims that he has never been so far apart from AC Milan.

After a story last week that caused Milan to respond labelling it ‘damaging’ and ‘totally unfounded’, La Gazzetta dello Sport have again gone big with another story on Leao’s future after the derby defeat against Inter on Sunday.

The narrative could have been completely different had Olivier Giroud kept up his tradition of being cool under pressure in the derby as the winger found him alone in the box with a pass, but the Frenchman fluffed his lines and instead we must reflect on a defeat.

In the week leading up to the game against the Nerazzurri, Leao hadn’t done enough to convince Pioli to restore his confidence and pick him from the start. He started on the bench against Sassuolo, but doing the same in the derby – a fixture he virtually decided on his own earlier in the season – was decidedly more uncomfortable.

The report claims that the Portuguese displayed a ‘gentle pace in training’ which at times is part of his character, but the present moment calls for a different spirit and he did make that extra sprint that was asked of him.

However, the paper adds that his physical condition has not been right for weeks since the World Cup in Qatar, causing Leao to lower his pace because he ran out of energy, even if Stefano Pioli said after the game that it was a technical choice to start Origi and Giroud up front.

Since the beginning of January there has not been much progress on Leao’s renewal, even if the club intended to reassure the environment in view of the derby by stating that ‘the dialogue with Leao and his entourage continues in a serene and professional atmosphere’.

Leao’s lawyer Ted Dimvula gave some encouraging words the other day too, but it is also true that since last November the Leao family have tried in vain to get the Frenchman to talk to Jorge Mendes, who is an advisor to Leao’s father Antonio.

Milan’s offer to raise the former Lille man’s salary to €6.5m net is not per season enough to satisfy the player, given that the Rossoneri thinks they can solve the Sporting CP case with this move. Instead, Leao and his entourage want Milan to relieve him of the burden of the €19m fine (including legal fees) due to the Lisbon club.

The latest contacts between the parties have not led to substantial changes and there is also a disagreement over the current €150m release clause that the forward asks to be halved in order to extend beyond 2024.

Several times Maldini stated that he hoped that the saga would end in January, but unfortunately that deadline has already passed and there are no positive glimmers (for the moment) on the horizon.

Tags AC Milan Rafael Leao


  1. SELL!!!!!!!Please guys…Paolo,Ricky…..sell the guy,cash in,and reinvest,we can still get some decent amount of money for him.He is never going to be rossonero,not in tausend lives,forget it.There is enough time for normal selling,enough bidders…get what you can and reinvest!

    1. Agree, if not renewed untill summer market opens as soon as it opens ofer it to City, or Leeds i dont care, just sell him and buy 2-3 palyers.

  2. Can someone please actually confirm the fine? I was under the impression that the money owed to Sporting was to be split between Lille and Leao but everything lately keeps saying Leao is on the hook for 19 million. That seems incorrect.

    1. It makes for a better story if they use the full fine amount and not the amount he actually has to pay. He also only has to pay between 5-20% of his annual wage and not the full amount in one lump sum if I’m not mistaken (I’m not 100% sure on that last part). It’s still important to get it sorted in this new contract though.

      1. Thanks for the sanity check. I suspected as much but started questioning myself. Media and journalism is no what it used to be as far as accuracy and the new need to sensationalize every story for clicks.

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