GdS: Fonseca meets Leao at Portugal camp – what emerges from the discussion

By Oliver Fisher -

Paulo Fonseca reportedly spoke with Rafael Leao during Portugal’s training camp and he is planning to build his AC Milan side around the forward.

This morning’s edition of La Gazzetta dello Sport reports that Fonseca went to visit Leao in the few days before he left for vacation, just as the winger was preparing for the European Championship with Portugal.

Fonseca’s introduction

That may sound like a strange occurrence, but Fonseca is Portuguese and certainly has contacts with the national team. However, the new coach has not yet been presented to the team and the media, with the press conference scheduled for a later date.

What this means is that he has not yet spoken to all the players but only to the management team of Giorgio Furlani, Geoffrey Moncada and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

With the meeting in Germany, Fonseca has made it clear that he considers Leao at the centre of the team that he has been planning over the past few weeks. The new coach will not ask him for a tactical change, because Rafa remains Rafa: an attacking wide player with acceleration and one-on-one.

Milan will be able to play him in a more central position but the search for a centre-forward even if he is struggling to do that for Portugal, but above all he will remain that explosive winger everyone has come to know. The necessary turning point, if anything, will be in his head.

From Germany to Saudi Arabia

Leao will be on the pitch against Turkey tonight and has his mind on the European Championship. In the first match he switched on and off, like other games for Milan, but his story in Germany is yet to be written.

Portugal have a lot of attacking talent and Rafa is in the strange position of oscillating between the possibility of becoming the new leader of the national team or slipping out of Roberto Martinez’s consideration.

Not at Milan, though, because for the Diavolo he will be fundamental. Milan will play a style that is more tied to possession than in the past and this will influence Leao a bit because he will probably have less open spaces and fewer counter-attack chances.

However, the retention of the ball and other things such as increased passing combinations plus of course the arrival of a new striker should help Leao a bit more, rather than him being exclusively relied upon as the ball carrier.

Meanwhile, there are rumours of concrete interest from Saudi Arabia. The paper adds that trusted intermediary of his father Antonio is working to understand whether Al Hilal can make an offer that cannot be refused to Milan, at least €100m.

It’s not something that will immediately become clear but in July – when the Saudi League will define its priorities and budgets – things could begin to move. In the meantime, Leao will play in the first European Championship of his career, he will go on holiday and then join the team.

Tags AC Milan Rafael Leao

5 Comments

  1. You guys are so delusional by selling him he has been our best creator and goal scorer since the 21/22 season and you guys think he is a liability pulisic has been great but leao is way better

  2. Selling Leao for 100 million or more is the best possible price Milan can ever see for him.

    He’s 25 and if you’re expecting anything more than you’ve seen all these years, You’re delusional.

    Only about 6 – 7 clubs can afford that 100 million and if Milan don’t sell now, forget it

    You will still argue though

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