Chelsea have a concrete interest in signing Rafael Leao but AC Milan have a big ally in their attempts to keep him: the will of the player himself.
According to a report from La Gazzetta dello Sport (via PianetaMilan), Chelsea have Leao at the top of their list of attacking targets but Milan for their part have clear ideas and are determined to refuse all offers that are not nine figures (€100m+).
The situation would be different if a club put on the table a figure close to the €150m release clause, one which is not valid in the latter stages of the window but still provides a benchmark for valuation.
However, Chelsea have another battle even if they agree a deal with Milan and that is to convince Leao, who recently said he feels good at Milan and wants to stay. A big offer salary wise could of course tempt any player as continues to happen in football, but for the moment there is no danger of him pushing for the move.
Those who see Leao at Milanello affirm that the former Lille star is calm and has plenty of stimuli, as there is a league title to defend and a Champions League group stage to overcome.
Should Leao remain at Milan, there will be talk of renewal in September and the discussions will be led by Gerry Cardinale after the closing of the takeover which will take place by the end of September.
There are some complications though such as the €16.5m owed to Sporting CP for the unilateral termination of the contract in 2018, which will be nearer €20m with additional costs like interest.
The powerful agent Jorge Mendes and a lawyer very close to his father look after the interests of Leao which means there are many parties that have to be in agreement. Renewing Leao though would be a big early statement from Cardinale.