Tuttosport: ‘Arabia + Bayern’ – Milan braced with bids expected for star duo

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan are likely to have to resist big offers from abroad in order to keep their left flank duo Theo Hernandez and Rafael Leao at the club, according to a report.

This morning’s edition of Tuttosport (via MilanNews) has the following headline on Milan: ‘Arabia + Bayern. The attack on Leao and Theo is ready’. The Rossoneri will have to repel the attacks of Al Hilal for Leao and Bayern Munich for Theo, two of the leaders and strong points of the squad.

The Portuguese has a release clause of €175m, but the Arab club are ready to make a monstrous three-figure offer to try and convince Milan to sell their No.10, in addition to obviously being able to put forward a massive salary.

As for the left-back, it is no secret that Bayern Munich are on his trail and have put him at the top of their list in the event of Alphonso Davies’ departure this summer, and it seems as though a move to Real Madrid is on the cards for him.

As mentioned, Leao and Theo are to many the beating heart of the team and the chemistry that they have built up over the past five seasons means that replacing even one of the two would be difficult.

Tags AC Milan Rafael Leao Theo Hernandez


  1. Selling either one (especially Theo) or both at the same time will pretty much bring us back to the banter era. Although if the saudis will come with the release clause, there is not a lot we can do about it.

    1. Takes a lot more to drop back into banter.. serie a is so poor atm we can almost easily make top 4 again with 3 major sales.. ffs bologna is 3rd.


      1. See Napoli, Lazio and Roma

        In fact can’t be that bad a league if they’re 10th, 7th and 6th (and Atalanta just won the Europa League).

        But if all you care about is money and shiny things – go watch the Saudi league.

      2. Bologna has a great team bro, excellent CB, DM, striker, CAM and workman wings. Dont underrate them like that. In future years we’ll look back at how many great players were in that squad. Kinda like Leicester, Udinese and Palermo back in the day

        1. Meh.. I recon Bologna players will end up like atalanta players.. Good under Gasperini semi ok elsewhere.

          Its easy to punch up when playing for a mid tier club. Well not easy per se but easier

        2. I guess we’ll see how good they are with a different coach. It took Motta to pull all the strings together. Their team is made up of average players punching above their weight.

    2. Theo had a handful of good games this season. Leao was missing for 1/3 of the season. If we get 200-250M€ for them and invest in good players we will improve the team. Sure, we’d lose one of the “best left sides” in the world but if they want to leave what can you do? Perhaps we could fill the holes in other departments and get the team play as a team instead of relying on Leao’s magic. Best teams are teams where everyone does their part week in week out. We don’t have that. We had that in the scudetto season but not after.

      1. Theo and Leao were both handicapped the first half of the season where we played in a 4-3-3 with Theo and Calabria being inverted fullbacks and the wingers being essentially isolated and Theo even had to play as a CB at some points. Once we shifted back to the 4-2-3-1 we used to play, their offensive contribution and overall performance improved dramatically and they managed to reach pretty much the same stats they’ve shown during the 2021/22 in all competitions. I don’t say they’ve done well overall, but to put all the blame on them misses this tactical aspect IMO.
        I can’t really recall a similar case where we sold one or more of our best players simultanously and improved immediatly after. If anything, selling important players is almost always followed by a big drop. I won’t say that our left side is irreplaceable, but we’re talking about a huge gamble here and the players who constitute the safest bet to replace either Leao or Theo are simply out of our reach.
        This decision would make sense if we were in a financial crisis, but right now we’re supposedly “financially stable” and we don’t need to sell both of them. If we want to sell, we should sell less important players or injury prone players like Maignan.
        I hope that this saudi thing is just a rumor and that Theo will renew.

        1. ” If we want to sell, we should sell less important players or injury prone players like Maignan.
          I hope that this saudi thing is just a rumor and that Theo will renew.”

          This. 100%.

        2. You do understand that in 433 and 4231 the wingers and fullbacks play in the same position right? Handicapped.. ffs. So untrue.

          And if you actually go and check contributions in both formations, they’re basically the same. Rafa started strong and disappeared, then he came back for a bit and gone again..

          1. “You do understand that in 433 and 4231 the wingers and fullbacks play in the same position right? Handicapped.. ffs. So untrue.”
            They can but that’s not always the case. In our case when we played a 4-3-3 we did so with inverted fullbacks, we could have played 4-3-3 without inverting fullbacks (as Liverpool, Real Madrid in the past did) but Pioli opted for inverted fullbacks.
            Let’s check the contribution in both formations as you said.
            For Leao:
            -In 4-3-3 he played 4 games neither scoring or assisting in the UCL and 10 games in serie A with 1 goal and 4 assists.
            -In 4-2-3-1 he played 2 games in UCL scoring once, 1 game in coppa italia scoring once, 6 games in EL with 3 goals and 4 assists and 19 games in serie A scoring 6 goals and having 5 assists. So in total 28 games with 11 goals and 9 assists. I disregarded the games where we played in a 4-4-2 or 3-4-3 or the derby where Pioli used him as a striker.
            For Theo:
            – As an inverted fullback he played 5 games in UCL neither scoring nor assisting and 9 games in serie A scoring twice and assisting once. So 14 games in total with 2 goals and 1 assist
            – In the 4-2-3-1, he played 1 game in UCL assisting once, 6 games in EL with 3 assists and 17 games in serie A with 3 goals and 4 assists. So 24 games in total with 3 goals and 8 assists. I disregarded the games where he played as a CB or other systems.
            So both were clearly more prolific when we stopped using Theo as an inverted fullback.
            I’m not saying the 4-2-3-1 is better for us, we could play a 4-3-3 without inverted fullbacks, but the idea of inverted fullbacks which we used doesn’t work for us.

          2. all nice and cute, but why didnt the big bad formation change effect Pulisić and his numbers?

            Also Theo plays inverted lb most of the time. Or should i say he has certain freedom to do whatever he wants. Point, all his solo runs through the middle.

          3. @flyingturtle: What works for Pulisic doesn’t necessarly work for Leao. Pulisic has shown to be able to play with an inverted fullback or regular one, he can also play as a RW, AM, LW,… Leao didn’t. Also aside from Theo, Calabria also failed as an inverted fullback (but it was shown mostly defensively rather than offensively)

        3. If anything, Coutinho sale at Liverpool showed perfect example how team can be better after selling their star player.

          It’s not that easy, but it’s possible.

          It’s not the case that we want to sell them – there’s no report at all that said we WANT to sell them, but if there comes offer that we can’t refuse (175m for Leao, >100m for Theo) then we will talk (or in Leao case, nothing we can do except convince Leao to stay).

          Or if they strongly want to leave… It’s better to let them go and find replacement with enough fund than keep an unhappy player.

          1. You make good points.
            I don’t think Theo wants to leave (at least if we believe the reports), that’s why IMO we should make efforts to renew his contract. I think we should be willing to give him 6M-8M per year.
            I don’t think the saudis report are true, but again in that case it’s up to Leao to decide. But I think the management should advice him to stay.
            And again if we want to sell a star player, we should sell Maignan.

    1. It took for Ibra to come back before we ever saw silverware again. Those saying sell Theo and Leao have short memories.

      1. Well… You could take a look at the “replacements” Galliani got after selling Z & T.Silva. Mainly free transfers or cr@p bought from Genoa.

        This management won’t be buying michael essiens, kevin constants and alessandro matris to replace the priced assets.

  2. What saddens me is that there are some fans who accept the sale of one of the two, or both players in Theo and Rafa.
    If Milan really want to build on the Scudetto roster/foundations of the team incl. Pulisic, Reinders, RLC, Chuck. They need to do whatever it is to keep those players. But they don’t, the management coming out on media with vague signals. That’s why you have teams like Al Hilal coming knocking on the door, because they know they can tempt the Milan management. You don’t see them knocking on the doors of the top PL-teams, Real Madrid, Bayern, PSG etc.. Heck, even Barca, and they are in financial difficulties. Because they don’t want to weakened their teams

  3. Even if we somehow, and please tell me who we would replace Theo and Rafa with who are at equal or above their level, how can we be sure that these new “super star” players would even mesh well with a. new teammates, b. new coach, all the while, the old team members have to also readjust to new tactics and new coach. In my opinion, if Theo and Rafa are both sold, even if we get world class players (which I I can just see management buying mid level players) we will not be a competitive team this coming season, especially with more UCL games, a more competitive Serie A, Copa Italia, AND Super COppa.

    1. Not sure anyone cares what you think dude – If they want Leao it’s £175M and worse players than Theo have changed clubs at £100M+…

  4. Leao needs Theo to be more effective than the other way around. If Leao goes and we get a proper replacement, we could survive. However if Theo goes, I feel Leao’s output might diminish and we won’t get the same effectiveness from the left back.

Comments are closed

Serie A Standings

Live football scores . Current table, fixtures & results.