MN: Sporting CP, Chelsea and €19m that weigh – Leao’s complex renewal situation

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan must tackle the knot of Rafael Leao’s renewal in the coming weeks and there are various fronts that must be resolved, a report claims.

MilanNews starts by writing that Leao’s judicial situation is complicated. The Portuguese owes Sporting CP the big sum of €19m euros as compensation for the unilateral termination of the contract exercised in 2018 after fans stormed the training complex.

Other players who left Sporting under the same circumstances resolved their position by paying Sporting compensation which Lille did not do, as they contracted Leao without making contact with his former club.

There was a charter signed between Lille and Leao’s agent at the time according to which the French club, when claiming Sporting, would have put money on the plate to settle and resolve the matter.

This paper, however, is not in the hands of Leao and his current lawyers as the separation from his former attorney was stormy and that document – being a private agreement between the parties – remains under lock and key.

Sporting CP originally asked for €45m in compensation through a Portuguese court, and then in the end the Milan court condemned him to pay €19m, which the boy began to pay through 20% of his salary.

In the meantime Lille – jointly and severally liable by the TAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport) – not only did not pay Sporting a singly euro, but also challenged the sentence of the TAS itself before the Swiss federal court, with a negative result.

Leao filed an appeal through his Italian lawyers, with the hearing set for the spring, but the margins for overturning the first-instance ruling are very minimal. That means Leao needs as much money as possible to resolve his dispute with Sporting.

How does this affect Milan? The Rossoneri are in constant contact with all of Leao’s entourage, but all they can do is formulate a contractual proposal that is as high as possible based on their own economic parameters.

A possible renewal of Leao’s contract should be seen as something to temporarily protect both Milan and the player, given the club would acquire stronger bargaining power in negotiations than it would have in the summer of 2023, given that Leao’s current deal expires in 2024, while the boy could ask for more money from any suitor.

Maldini and Massara will do everything to try and keep the Portuguese but they are also ready to make the most of his transfer in the summer. Chelsea are observing and are ready to launch a big bid while guaranteeing the former Lille man a salary over €10m net per season.

In his heart Leao does not want to leave AC Milan and Milano as a city, though it is equally true that those €19m weigh on his head every day are something that will affect him.

Tags AC Milan Rafael Leao


  1. “The Portuguese owes Sporting CP the big sum of €19m euros”

    How many times does this have to be corrected here by the commenters? Leao & Lille owe that 19M€ together (50/50). It’s not Leao alone who owes Sporting that money. Still every article here says Leao owes them 19M€.

    1. They keep making this mistake, even though it was this site that pointed out that the fine is split in the first place. Bizzare that they keep saying it despite it being plainly untrue.

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