Ibrahimovic gives honest advice to Leao over future but admits he ‘can do little’

By Oliver Fisher -

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has made his advice to Rafael Leao absolutely crystal clear regarding what the forward should do in the near future.

There continues to be an abundance of speculation about what the future might hold for Leao given that his contract expires in less than 18 months and there is nothing to suggest a renewal agreement is imminent.

In fact, there are some worrying reports too, such as the one last night from Sky Germany journalist Florian Plettenberg who stated that Leao does not want to stay at Milan as he is not confident the club can offer him the sort of contract that he would like, with Chelsea, Manchester City and Real Madrid all keen.

Ibrahimovic spoke during an interview with Sky Italia and he was asked about what he thinks Leao should do regarding his future and whether he should stay at Milan, with his comments relayed by NotizieMilan.

“Leao is very, very important to us. He is one of those who is making a difference. He was the best player in Serie A last year, he’s fine. By making another choice, you have to start from scratch,” he said.

“I’m not sure if one is ready or mature for this, when he arrived here he wasn’t a player who made the difference. Then he grew up and now he has great confidence. The coach also gives him great freedom to do what he wants. These situations in another club don’t happen right away: it’s up to you, you have to create these situations.

“With us, on the other hand, he’s fine, he always smiles, even before scoring a goal. He must continue to feel good, this is the most important thing. For things off the pitch, unfortunately, we team-mates can do little, everyone has to think about his own.”

Tags AC Milan Rafael Leao Zlatan Ibrahimovic


  1. Maldini is in big problem. We all can forget 3 or 4 first team players who left for free. Lets say for Kessie: he helped US winning scudetto, so its ok he left for free, there was no point to sell him 1 year before contract expiration. But Leao is delicate. With him we reached KO CL stage, but – 8 in Serie a, and Juventus is back. Still, he can be sold for 70-100 or 120 mil now, in summer less. Those are not small money and can be smart use for 2 or 3 positions. Maldini must step up and show his development in management, because if we lose scudetto with Leao, next summer will lose money on Leao, and Probably still have problem on other positions as well. Maldini must male best chess move ASAP – as soon as possible.

    1. For Maldini to make the right chess moves, he actually needs to play chess.
      Up to this point, Maldini has been playing checkers while the agents of the Milan players have played chess and played him like a fiddle.

  2. Always on point what Ibra says. While his father spoke only about how Leao developed like it’s only by his doing. Give him other environment, unlike Milan, and it’s easy to see him evaporated as Niang MK II. The intention was pretty clear from his father. It’s now up Leao himself.

  3. Maldini could get half the Salzburg team with a good return on Leao , sell off the deadwood, and still be a force with decent promising youngsters. Keep the philosophy they started and not be held at ransom by egotistical agents and emerging “big time” players. We lost 2 CL games against Chelsea with Leao, so he is not the all time panacea but rather a team of committed players willing to die for the team. I’ll be concerned if Theo wants to leave, he gives his life for the team.

  4. All you so-called supporters who criticize Maldini – you are clueless.

    Yes, Maldini let some big names go for free, but that’s in the past. He is not the beginner director he used to be. He had learned from his mistakes and that’s why we saw in the last couple of months a lot of key-players’ contract renewals (Tonali, Bennacer, Theo etc).
    The days Milan released the likes of Kessie and Gigi are over.

    I believe Maldini will hand Leao the contact he deserves, and only then he will sell him for a 3-digit figure.

  5. I don’t dee the reason why Maldini allowed himself to be played and beaten by ungrateful players who are very greedy for money. Yes, they all play to get money but the guys are deliberately asking above Milan management’s pay limit just to make negations difficult.
    Is it not better to kick Leao out for $70m and buy Okafor for much lesser amount and add Ziyech?

  6. Guys…this isn’t a football manager where you always sell a player eventually. Are you aware you can’t sell a player if the player doesn’t want to go to a club which isn’t of his choosing? let’s say Leao wants to go to Real Madrid, but Chelsea offers him a contract and 100M to Milan. Milan accepts, Leao rejects. What should Maldini do? Crucify Leao? Break his legs? Be resonable. If a quality player decides to wait out his contract because when they sign for free they’ll get higher sign on bonus, mgmt. can do little about it. There’s a reason why UEFA likes to drive transfers like this – somebody is earning a lot of money on the side which isn’t really invested in football. Look at NHL, NFL, NBA in USA – are there massive transfers? Yet everyone earns well.

Comments are closed

Serie A Standings

Live football scores . Current table, fixtures & results.