CM: Leao is demanding a €7.5m salary to remain at Milan

By Euan Burns -

Rafael Leao is demanding a salary of no less than €7.5 million per season to stay at AC Milan as talks begin to intensify around his renewal, a report claims.

As has been reported by today, the attention of the new ownership is turning towards the renewal of Rafael Leao’s contract.

The two goals that he scored in the derby against Inter on Saturday only served to remind everyone just how key he is and how important it is to extend his contract. He is currently earning €1.8m per season but he wants that upped to a whopping €7.5m.

So far, Milan have never offered anything more than €4.5m which with bonuses would have risen to €6m. That is the maximum figure that was imposed by the previous owners, Elliott Management.

It is now up to Gerry Cardinale at RedBird Capital Group to decide whether the player is worth distorting the wage structure for.

Tags AC Milan Gerry Cardinale Rafael Leao


  1. He is our star. If we want to be a top team in Europe again, this is what will have to be done.

    Our squad is currently too big so hopefully we can shed some salary and earn some revenue from transfer fees starting in the Winter.

    1. I agree. We’ll never fight for UCL again if we keep losing\ selling our best players. We have to pay them. Hopefully we perform well in UCL and get that revenue to increase his salary and Isma’s.

  2. I think it’s an absolutely reasonable and fair demand… Come on, if Ibra, who, let’s be honest, has been practically a semi-retired player for some time, was earning something around €7.0, why our main player wouldn’t be entitled to ask for 7.5???

  3. And the see saw battle begins……Trust me it will keep on rising and finally boom…….he will leave come what may he will go may be he take a different approach not like Donna or hakan a kessie type get away…..but mendes will get his wish of earning millions by transferring him…..till then let’s enjoy a d cherish his good performances… tbh his sporting situation a fine made it far worst for us to strike a deal…..

  4. If you have a wage structure with 4-5M being the top, then giving an exception to one will have severe effects on the whole system. The other players will be distracted (Kalulu, Tomori, Theo, Tonali, Bennacer, …) asking (probably not loudly) why is he earning 2x as much as me? Then the management will have to deal with every such player.
    So here the management has to make a choice whether they are willing to take this way.
    Does he deserve the 7+M? Well, maybe. Probably at Chelsea he’d get it. In the PL even the promoted teams have more budget than Milan. But if there is no budget or the club does want to change the wage rules, then he will not get it and Leo will be sold next summer. We will see. I don’t think Ajax players have 7+M salaries, they sell them when they get to that stage and they survive pretty well.

    1. Ajax Haven’t won UCL since 1995. We want to win UCL again some day so we have to keep our best players somehow, if that means increasing wagebill, so be it.
      I don’t want to become Ajax. Milan has to fight for UCL again.

    2. Simple, he is attacker, he create chances, make assists and score goals. With all due respect to all our solid backline and midfielder, cleansheet is not enough to win a match. You need goals to win a match. And that is why it is normal that attacker earns more. I believe all of our players is professional, and they respect the contract. So, no such thing as an “why he earns more than me”. It might be happend though during other player contract extension. But it will never happend when you are under contract. And if one of our player really does that during under contract period, I am pretty he will find difficulties to find another club due to unprofessional manner.

      1. Exactly. You think on PSG Marquhinos earns the same as Mbappe or Neymar? You think Maguire earns same as CR7? There’s levels to this game…

    1. Stop pinching money if you want to keep our quality players. Leao helped us win Scudetto and is our own hero. What more do you want him to do? He had 1 goal and 1 ast in 6 UCL games where we were in group of death. I don’t think we can replace Leao the way we did with Calha and Dollarumma. We have to pay or sell him. Selling means we are the next Dortmund… We are Milan and we are supposed to compete for UCLs and you can’t do that by selling your players when they become stars.

  5. He was on 1.8? We have been robbing this man. Pay him immediately.
    The project has progressed and we need to pay our players to keep them around and get to the next level, which is competing for Champions league titles

  6. If Leão gets his 7.5mil wage, everyone else shouldn’t get less than 5mil – at least that’s what they’re going to think. Now, you see why Bennacer has not renewed? They’re watching to see what Leão gets. Everyone else is going to push his luck.

    I think the wage bill should grow exponentially, but be that as it may, jumping from 1.8 to 7.5 is absurd. Does he deserve it? Probably, because he can get that sum elsewhere. But can Milan afford to have multiple wage increase demand? It’s up to the new owners. I would say 6mil is more than fair with bonuses.

    Goalscorers win games, but so do goalkeepers and defenders too. Football is a team sport. The work some do are more visible than others. It’s a shame that agents are using the footballers as their cash cows. They assure them of better deals elsewhere which has changed the dynamics of the market.

    Loyalty is no longer a thing of pride to players. They can kiss the badge one weekend and they’re signing for another club by midweek. Much as Leão may think he has done for Milan, but Milan too has helped him by allowing him to wear the rossoneri jersey.

    1. But the question remains will he accept 6m a year….if he doesn’t then what obviously sell him….the way things are going its probably going to be we have to sell him or give him what he demands……atleast on whats been reported in news…..the way mendes operates he will rather ask Milan to sell him and get higher commission then take him out for free. Mendes is a sort of guy who never messes up relationship with clubs rather than late mino…..yes the price might differentiate but he will get for a price…..

  7. Leao, personally is a Milan star. It can’t be denied. But granting his request, is also not a wise thing. Because, remember, he’s not alone in the Milan squad.
    There was Theo, Tomori, Bennacer, Tonali, Giroud et al, who also carried out their functions as players very well, which led us to the Scudetto last season. And hopefully this season too. Imagine, if they also feel that they deserve to be rewarded with a high salary. How are you FPP?
    Leao will get the salary he wants. I’m sure of it. But not now, and maybe not from Milan

  8. Even if offered that Mendes would up the demands. It suits agent and player for him to move on and personally I hope Milan don’t break a sustainable future to keep him. The opportunity to sell is probably lost now, but let’s get the best out of him for 18 months whilst he earns that PSG or Madrid contract.

    1. You don’t understand the finances.

      It’s not that simple! He’s asking for A LOT of money for a club that is still recovering. Plus, as others have said in their posts here, we have many others who are VERY “underpaid” — look at Kalulu! Dude is only making $700,000!!!!!! that’s NOTHING! He deserves more.

      I think our best player this year has been Bennacer; what’s he making? Only $2.8M. We need to pay him more too, right?

      Maignan is basically 2nd best goalkeeper in the world right now after Courtois, and he’s “only” making $3.6M. He deserves more too, right?

      Theo is one of probably top 3 LBs in the world — he’s making $5.2M. That’s better than the others; but his market value is higher, I’m sure.

      We can’t simply throw money at all of these guys — ownership wants to keep them; ownership want to pay them more but they can’t just immediately agree to this demand by Leao because his agent will just then ask for more! And then what precedent does it set for agents of Kalulu, Bennacer, etc.?

  9. Thing is, he wants 7.5M but the club spends 15M after tax on his salary. Its a lot, I dont think Milan can afford it, we’re just climbing out of the red. Ofc he’s worth it but what about other players then. He gets a raise everyone wants a raise and before we know it Milan is spending much more on salaries, again, than the club can afford. Risky for the long term

    1. Exactly this – financially the club is in recovery still, it can’t afford to break the bank on a player we can’t afford to keep. He’s an excellent talent but just reality that PSG or the English teams can afford to pay him more.

  10. Leao is the best when he’s at his best but he vanishes otherwise.

    Compare that with Kessie who guaranteed the defensive midfield would be locked down every single game and even filled in as the CAM a few games.

    If Milan can survive without Kessie and, in this case, seems to actually be doing better, then it can definitely survive without Leao. Milan can’t afford to pay 7.5m to a player who won’t be a guarantee every single game. Should have signed Vhalovic if a high salary was an option.

    1. I don’t think that is a good comparison.
      Leao is a skilled, attacking player. Someone that you build a team around, someone that can change and win a game for you.
      I like Kessie. He was good . But Kessie plays defensive midfielder, no skill, no technique, just muscle and effort. DM is the easiest position to replace in a team.
      Leao- Vlahovic
      Leao is someone that can create for himself and others. He doesn’t have to rely on anyone. Is he consistent? Not yet but he can get there. On the other hand Vlahovic needs everyone around to create for him otherwise he won’t even get 5 touches in a game. He isn’t a guarantee either.

  11. We should have sold him to Chelsea and for the money get 3-4 excellent players. I don’t see him staying in Milan because of his demands. So why wait, as long as someone is willing to pay before finding out that he’s not a 7.5ml material.

  12. Great time to remind everyone:

    “Under Elliott Management Milan have drastically improved their balance sheet, going from a loss of €194m in June 2020 to €96m as of June 2021”

  13. Salaries of one player cannot be compared to another. That’s not how it works especially in different positions. Goal scorers always get paid more than defenders for example. It’s just the way it is. There is a premium for them.

    People constantly say well Leao isn’t worth 7-7.5M NOW because he’s not consistent. But they define consistency as scoring every game lol. Something not even a standard Messi was held to.

    Second, his contract is up in year after this. So issue is not only what he is worth now but what is he worth in a year from now. Problem is you have to negotiate NOW. If we wait and he continues to improve as I believe he will – the price keeps on going up not down. So you are paying based on projected value in addition to present value. ManU just bought Antony for 100M and gave him 12M/season. Is Leao as good as Antony? Is Antony more proven or “consistent” than Leao having played in a much weaker (Dutch) league?? NO.

    Third, let’s not forget there are many other players in Serie A (such as Rabiot (Juve)) that make more than 7M/season. Hell we paid Ibra 7M/season at 39 years old (worth every penny imo). So we HAVE went over the wage cap. So unfortunately ownership already destroyed their own “wage cap” excuse when they gave all that $ to Ibra. So trying to claim they we have a wage cap AFTER you already made an exception to it is comical.

    Fourth, NOT one player Milan complained about Ibra making more than them and it did NOT destroy the dressing room (hell we won the title!) as some ppl on here claim it will do now. Why? Because every single professional player knows each makes different salary than the other. This is life. Nothing new.

    Lastly and unfortunately the market determines what a player will make. Is it fair – No. Is the system completely out of wack right now? yes. Do EPL players like Ben Chilwell who makes 9.8M or Anthony Martial (13M) o deserve more than Leao? Do Serie A players like Szeczny (6.5-7M) Rabiot (7M) “deserve” to make more than Leao or Mike Magnian for that matter?? Is Leao worth more than those 2 players? Is Mike? I think so. If Mike says he wants to be the highest paid goalkeeper in the world at 12M is he “not worth it” and now a “traitor” or just greedy and doesn’t love Milan any longer?? LOL. I personally think Mike is one of the top 3 goalies in the world if not the best right now. So should he get paid what Allisson or Neuer makes?? Yes. Or Should Szeczny make more than Mike? NO. The point is market demand dictates worth and teams will over pay to get what they want just as ManU did with Antony. You pay not only his value now but what he is worth in 2 years from now.

    So we will see what kind of club Redbird wish us to be. In European football, only 10 teams recorded a profit of £1 million or more during the period from 2019 to 2021. With over 1000 professional clubs in Europe, this means that less than 1% were significantly profitable. Those clubs include:

    Chelsea £33 million – mostly through sales
    Napoli £30 million
    Liverpool £29 million
    Atalanta £26 million
    Ajax £20 million
    Newcastle £14 million
    Villarreal £12 million
    AZ Alkmaar £8 million
    RB Leipzig £4 million
    Norwich City £3 million

    The hope and plan (according to Reports) is that we want to be like Liverpool – which would be fantastic – win titles and profitable. Or will we be Atalanta, Villarreal, Alkmaar – profitable but never win anything. Time will tell. Of this list only Chelsea and Liverpool have won a CL on last 25 years. So we will see.

    But selling arguably our best player (or when Tonali or Kalulu or Theo or Mike, or Tomori) just when we took the time to develop him/them and BEFORE we keep the core of this team together to make CL push sets us back and doesn’t make us a club with ambitions of CL glory. It would be the same as selling Kaka a few year after we got and before that core group of players/team went to dominate Europe.

    And the other false argument that giving Leao a salary of 7-7.5M will make him unsellable in the future is comical. Just as that argument was proven wrong with Donnaruma, it is also wrong with Leao. Clubs will always pay for immense talent. There will be plenty of teams that will pay Leao 7-7.5M any day of the week. Salaries increase every season (inflation) and we must keep up with the market IF we wish to be a team that wants to achieve CL success and keep our title as Gerry Cardinale said he would.

    So let’s see what happens. Leao’s contract situation will set the tone for the ambitions of the club. Ball is in Redbirds court. Let’s hope (and pray) they take us to the next level


    Leao is a good player, no doubt but gebisbnot worth 7.5m, no way he is worth that now, maybe in the future but not now and giving him that sort of money might even affect his performance, how can you move from 1.8 to 7.5 and not get distracted, dude is 23 and still have amole time to make far more money but at this moment, 7.5 is way out of our own wage bi, we have a structure and we should not break it because of a one time show footballer……he needs to show consistency and produce more good matches, scoring two in a derby shouldn’t give you 7.5m, performing on a daily basis should.

    I do not care if we lose him, some of the matches, he was more of a burden than a helper, we can replace anyone, so many attackers out there, all we have to do is out trust on them just like we trusted Leao……Milan should not pay him that, it will disrupt many things, sell him as soon as possible if he insist, 6M is more than enough.

  15. And lastly I am under no delusions that Leao (or any other player for that matter) will stay at Milan for life. The game is not that way any longer. There are no more Maldini’s, Toto’s or Del Piero’s . Does anyone really think Vlahovic will stay at Juve for the full 5 year contract or will he eventually jump to the EPL where he turned down 15M/season at Arsenal to stay in Italy and play for Juve for half (7.5M) that amount. In 2-3 years he will be gone. And Leao may well too even if we sign him to 7.5M/season. We cannot compete with the EPL’s financial might just yet. But now is not the time to sell him. Sign him to new 5 year deal with a huge release clause at the 7M and IF we need to sell him down the road or he demands to leave – we do it from a position of strength. He’s only 23 and not even in his prime yet. Lots of time to sell in the future if needed.

    On another note I think we should explore paying some of not all of that 20M fine he owes Sporting. Otherwise at 4.5M/season and owing 20M he would essentially be playing for us for the next 4 years for FREE. Who would do that?? So it makes sense (aside from market conditions/demand) he wants 7-7.5M/season – to hale pay that 20M back.

  16. @juro

    You made good points but you are forgetting something important and that things is this….”if you do more than you are capable, you will die not benefiting anything at all”, lemme Start from your point 1….

    Point 1: The idea that goal scorers get paid more 5han defenders is arguable because we have seen so many goal keepers and defenders in today football who make far more than the attackers, if we had kept donarruma or kessie, they would have been laid far more than our strikers, so that statement is not Authentic.

    Points 2: bringing Anthony to this discussion makes no sense, we all know about the bad business EPL teams make every years, look at lukaku situation… Anthony is not worth that money, and everyone knows it but the EPL are just in another level when it comes to money which might affect them in the long run because the financial is a junky, you never know..Anthony making such money in a club that have such money doesn’t mean we should ditch out such money when we do not have it, there is not need becoming Manchester united when our purse is ac Milan, it will disrupt the whole process and makes being Manchester united in a few years impossible.

    Point 3: all these players you are mentioning are deemed as losses by their respective clubs and the club can’t even find where to dispose them so do not make it sound like signing them at such huge salary Was is the best decision of Juventus, nobody wanna make loss, not even Milan

    Point 4: PLEASE DO NOT BRING IBRA INTO THIS, Leao became Leao after Ibrahimovic came in, none of this players knew their capabilities before Ibra came, so please take the legend off the case, his own salary is far more justified than the one that might be given to Leao, please take Ibra off the case.

    Point 5: You got some point here, the market actually says the worth of the players, currently the market makes Leao a hot player but 5he question is this, if he goes to Chelsea and earn 10m, what guarantee does he have to play better and constantly? He becomes another 100m rotational player who might end up coming back to Milan on loan just like lukaku???……..

    There should be a compromise, especially when there is 20m to pay for him, Milan will definitely have to help him pay if he is to sign, so I think there is should be compromise because Leao is not more important than the team so the management should be careful with the amount they splash on him, it might be better to sell him and buy 3 good players with it and maintain the team structure than spalshing that in him and raising eye brows, because in Milan, we do things differently and the culture and team is always the priority, that was why we let kessi, Roma, Hakan, Donna leave

    1. @Kossy my brother let me reply:

      Point 1: the average striker makes more than the average defender. That is a fact. It’s a more premium position. Just like a Quarterback in American football on average makes more than a running back or cornerback. I wasn’t speaking to Milan specifically but world clubs football in general.

      Point 2: the point is not whether EPL clubs can outspend us (of course they can) or if they make good or bad transfer decisions – the point is instead the market demand will dictate the price. Personally I don’t think Antony is worth 12M yet. But that is what Man U was willing to pay him. Leao isn’t asking for EPL money. If he was then yes we would have no choice but to sell him. He’s asking for the same salary Ibra was given and others in Serie A make. That is reasonable. If he asked for 12M like Antony or 13M like Martial makes – then yes we can not afford that. But he’s not as of yet. So we already set the precedent that we can and have gone over the wage cap for a player and we can do it again.

      Point 3: there are many other players that made that money (over 7M) and are NOT losses for those clubs like Vlahovic, Immobile, Brozovic, Laurato, etc…I was just using examples of a few bad players who still make over 7M like Rabiot. Again, whether they are good or bad investments is irrevelsnt and can only be determined after the fact not at the time the contract was signed.

      Point 4: Ibra is relevant. To me he was worth every penny. Money well spent. Not complaining. Love Ibra. BUT you cannot argue that players will be upset if Leao gets paid over the wage cap and they don’t. We already did it with Ibra and we’re going to do it with Donnaruma (8M) amd Kessie (5.5M) but they chose to make more money and go elsewhere. Had they excepted our offer they would have made over the wage cap. The point an exception to the wage cap has already been made. This is no different OF M&M feel he’s worth it.

      Point 5: correct there are no guarantees. Such is life. He could go on to be the next superstar or a bust like Balotelli. I believe we should trust M&M and Pioli – and if they think he’s worth it and will become a star we should lock him down.

      Maybe your right, maybe it may be better to sell him for 150M and buy 3 players. I don’t think so right now because I think that $$ (air not more) will be there in a few years time when he’s just entering his prime – so for me I would sign him and continue to develop him into the star he can be. Also sends a strong message to the other clubs that Milan are back. We are no longer a selling club and other big teams can’t just take players from us as they please. Plus it would be a shame to sell him before we truly see what this core group of young players can achieve together. So far he wants to stay and we should get it done asap. Like I said I’m not delusional he won’t stay with us forever no player will. But for now, IMO I would lock him up and we can always sell down the road if we need to or he asks to leave for more $$ than what is being offered now as I believe he will only get better.

      Forza Milan.

  17. Milan: €4.5m
    Mendes : €7m

    Milan: €6m
    Mendes : €7.5m

    Milan: €7.5m
    Mendes : €9m

    it will never end as the track is played by Dollarumma and Kessie Before

    If someone want to renew, like Tomori, Theo, Tonail , there will never have that problem,

  18. If you want to compete with the big boys, you have to pay big boys wages. 7.5m is still less than half of what Erling Haaland earns at Man City and they still haven’t won the CL..

  19. 6 mil is max in my opinion or just cash him for 100 mil we can get atleast 1 world class star, in addition to another 2 good players.

  20. Nothing wrong with a player wanting to get paid market value FOR ITALY. If he was asking for English league market value for salary then I could understand. But he’s not. He’s asking to be paid as one of the top players IN THIS LEAGUE. Once you win MVP of the LEAGUE it is not unreasonable to ask to be one of its highest paid players. Anyone would do that and to think otherwise is delusional.

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