The upper management at AC Milan were certainly happy to hear the words of Rafael Leao in his recent interview in which he strongly hinted at a desire to stay for a few more years.
Leao came under fire from some fans and sections of the media after he spurned a big opportunity against Newcastle United last week in the Champions League group stage opener, trying a back heel instead of a normal shot.
However, he responded brilliantly with the winning goal against Verona on Saturday making it three goals in his last three Serie A matches.
Then, yesterday, an interview with GQ Portugal was released in which he made it clear how much he loves being at Milan and even adding that he sees himself staying for more years yet.
Sky journalist Peppe Di Stefano gave an update from Milanello on the eve of the game against Cagliari and he spoke about Leao, with his comments relayed by Radio Rossonera.
“Leao? We are talking about a stratospheric player, who has already scored three goals this year in the last three games. He is one of the strongest players in our league, if not the strongest… a decisive player,” he said.
“Comparisons have been made and will be made over time, but I think Milan should enjoy this player. Yesterday he spoke saying some wonderful things about Milan. He specified that he renewed his contract because he wants to stay at the Rossoneri for a long time, he wants to win the Champions League here.
“This obviously pleased the club and the entire Rossoneri environment very much. Leao may not play tomorrow but I repeat we are at yesterday’s training, we are waiting for this afternoon’s training.
“Empathising with Stefano Pioli, I imagine that it’s always difficult to keep out the strongest, but it’s obvious that you also have to use up your energy because you don’t want to risk anything from the point of view of physical stress.
“Not mental because playing is good for everything, but I repeat there’s it’s the possibility that tomorrow he and Giroud might not start from the beginning.”