GdS: Leao lights up San Siro but Maldini’s words and Chelsea’s interest causes alarm

By Oliver Fisher -

Some rather interesting words arrived from Paolo Maldini last night regarding the future of Rafael Leao, which still remains an enigma at the moment.

Today’s edition of La Gazzetta dello Sport (via PianetaMilan) brands Rafael Leao as a world-class player that is matched by only Kylian Mbappé, Neymar and a few others when he gets his head down and starts one of his electrifying dribbles.

Against Dinamo Zagreb he won the penalty kick that opened the scoring as Olivier Giroud bagged from 12 yards again, and then he set up Alexis Saelemaekers with a pinpoint cross to make it 2-0, showing he can do it on the biggest stage.

However, the words of Maldini before the game have drawn some attention as he revealed some background on the summer window and spoke about the future of Leao.

“An official written offer from Chelsea did not arrive, but on an informal level it did. Of course it was rejected. Rafa knows that to become stronger the solution is to stay. We are a young and growing team, they still have to learn many things. If they reach a level higher than that of Milan then I think it is also normal to take flight. But we intend to do great things and grow with him,” he said.

“Renewal? It is a question that we have already addressed many months ago. Is Rafa non-transferable? Yes, for me he would be but it is useless to be romantic. When certain figures arrive there are no non-transferable players. We have been talking with him for some time, also Bennacer and Kalulu. Each renewal can be more complicated or easier. The will of the player goes a long way, that of the club is there.”

The informal offer Maldini talks about is the result of the work of agent Jorge Mendes, who spoke a lot with Chelsea at the end of August, and the part where he admits he could leave is of course motivated by the awareness of not being able to match any offers coming from the Premier League.

The January transfer market will be very important to understand what the future of Leao is, because Maldini is betting heavily on the player’s desire to stay at the club.

Tags AC Milan Rafael Leao


    1. Yep, go to the club who will likely go furthest of the teams in this group in the competition over the next few years and he able to offer him whatever money he asks for.

      Milan have missed the peak selling window for Leao – I suspect he will leave and it will likely be in his financial interests to leave for free; the longer there’s no contract agreed with Milan, the more likely that is to happen because there’s less waiting time for it.

      I hope he stays, but if not I really hope there’s a plan to be able to make some money from him next summer and have a replacement lined up.

      1. What a rubbish comment. The team that will go further? They have 1 point. Milan has 4. Chelsea is a disaster right now. Milan is probably the most up and coming team in all of Europe as of today. Get lost with your negativity.

  1. Didn’t they say that there is a taxation ease on Leao now which makes it easier for Milan to sign extension and renew Leao’s contract? So, why they don’t sign him ASAP??? What’s the problem now? I don’t like how this is developing but hope Leao stays with ACM.

  2. There’s no alarm. He has 2 years on his contract. If he doesn’t extend by the end of the season, he will be sold in the summer. Man City and Chelsea want him and Chelsea’s need is greater. All their wingers suck and are injury prone. Hopefully he has a great world cup.

    1. If you’re Mendes, you tell your client to refuse any offers next summer and command a huge signing bonus the following year. The selling window has been missed, he’s leaving for free now. Fortunately, he has to keep performing, at least for the next 12 months

      1. Oh yeah, the odds are he leaves on a free. Why sign with Milan if you can get more money from an English side? Plus the signing bonuses, both for him and his agent would be much higher if there is no transfer fee. Remember he owes 20M, which could be paid with his signing bonus. Enjoy him while he is still here, and decides that he wants to make an effort, but he is leaving in 18 months for free.

  3. “If he doesn’t extend by the end of the season, he will be sold in the summer.”

    Don’t count on it. If Mendes wouldn’t get big enough signing bonus for himself from the paid transfer, he’d make Leao wait until his contract runs out and then they’ll both get a big fat signing bonus. Mendes can wait a year or two to get his +10M€.

    Players cannot be sold against their will you know. Castillejo and dozens of other “faithful Milanistas” have already proven that many times over the last years.

    1. That’s true. But imagine if they do to him what previous management did to dollaruma. Imagine if they threat him with a bench year until his contracts runs down if he doesn’t renew. I am not sure he will be the same player after that concerning the emotional stress and anxiety for not playing as a punishment he will be up to. And there is also the fans who won’t let him in peace either

      1. @Sheva exactly what I have been saying.

        If he is not sold or renewed by this winter window, we should just bench him for the next 18 months so Leao and his shi*tbag agent knows we mean business and Club comes first.

        doesn’t matter how important someone is, no one should be allowed to Fvck the club over and a message needs to be sent to every player.

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