Tuttosport: Leao ‘shrugs’ in response to Al Hilal interest – the details

By Euan Burns -

AC Milan forward Rafael Leao has shown minimal interest in joining Al Hilal despite the Saudi Arabian side supposedly being ready to table an offer for the Portuguese star.

As reported by Tuttosport (via Milan News), the idea of heading to the Saudi Pro League has not filled Leao with a huge amount of excitement given the lack of competitive action compared to Europe.

There was a surge of notable European players heading to the Saudi Pro League one year ago, with massive wages on offer that most clubs could not rival. A year on, many of those players have since left again and whilst money is still being thrown around, the bubble has somewhat burst.

Al Hilal are the best team in Saudi Arabia and are intent on winning the Asian Champions League. If Leao were to move there, he would undoubtedly be a very important player along with Neymar Jr and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.

There seems to be minimal interest in Leao from European clubs this summer and he has shown little desire to leave the club. Therefore, Milan are confident that they can direct Al Hilal to his €175m release clause and settle for nothing less this summer.

Tags AC Milan Al Hilal Rafael Leao


  1. Grande Leao!

    Sad news for Scaroni and many Milan fans around here who were already dreaming of big money. I guess oil money is dirty for buying the club but not dirty to buy our players.

        1. If we start pressuring players to leave because we think we can make a good cash out of it, we risk losing more than what we want. Theo might be even more convinced to leave if Leao is pressured to leave. And I think our best players don’t see the current management as ambitious as they’d like.
          We might get some good players with that ton of cash, but we’ll end up with players who came for money and we’ll lose players who play for the jersey.
          If you think that this is not a problem, just look at how much success PSG is enjoying on the european level with its army of stars.

          1. True. It’s not all bout mone. Guess we’re keeping lazy leao for a season more. Maybe fonsy will get him to be more less lazy without the ball

          2. @flyingturtle Leao is clearly asked not to defend, to save his stamina for offensive duties. It’s coaching instruction here and it’s smart, most top coaches do the same with their offensive top players. I agree that sometimes Leao is lazy as he doesn’t give everything but most of the time he’s doing what he was asked to do, which is staying focused on the offensive animation while midfielders cover for him. The problem is that our midfield is weak now. Watch France and you’ll see that Mbappé doesn’t defend either but the midfield is strong.

          3. Oh I’ve seen mbappe play.. he’s a beast. The amounts of energy he leaves on the field vs leao is uncomparable.

            Leao isn’t only lazy..he also has poor stamina lvls. Probably because he is lazy and doesn’t train like he should.

      1. with what leverage ? If i was an ac milan player i would flip my middle finger in front of their noses if they tried to make me move down there and they could threat me with the bench for the remainder of my contract and it still wouldn’t matter there is no chance in hell i would want to play in saudi arabia.

      1. Should we be upset if the Saudis offer to buy the club with real ambitions of winning trophies? Wall Street money is not cleaner to me than oil money but that’s another debate.

        As for Leao, I’ll always be upset when we lose one of our top players.

      2. It doesn’t matter how we should or should not feel. If Saudi’s put 175mil on the table, Leao is as good as gone. Rightly so, because I don’t think Milan get an offer like that any other time from any other club.

        It would suck to lose him, but with the proper reinvestment, we could raise the level of our players across the board more.

        Leao might be the first domino falling with Theo to follow if that happens though…

  2. It will be hard to replace him. Let’s hope he stays. We still have the protection of the release clause for 2 more seasons before we need to seriously consider selling. In the meantime let’s hope Fonseca can inject some life into his game or try him in a different position as CF. Bring Okafor in on the left and see if it doesn’t work.

  3. Pls @all is there any other website that focus only on Milan, if any pls share and I hope Milan should have a good mecarto this summer, Forza Milan.

  4. i will prefer this

    Pulisic on the right leao as CF and Chukueze on the Left.

    after half time. any of them can be replaced
    and we still have a valid trio up front
    with Jovic, Okafor, and the integration of Camarda. the attack is solid. RLC can always join up front irrespective of the formation


    the midfield is still covered in terms of rotation.

    we can spend come cash on CB.

    but we know we have a huge amount of money reserved for a No 9 when we find a Complete one as we have missed out on Sseko.

    1. Leao was a failed experiment as a CF if you paid attention last season. Chuk is a natural RW, Puli, LW. Not sure why you want to try to jam square pegs into round holes… Pioli 2.0

  5. Rafa lives in a beautiful city, a historic, charming and elegant city, in one of the most stunning countries (in every sense) on this planet. Why the hell should he like the simply nightmarish prospect of moving to Saudi Arabia??? Frankly, there is much more to life than money, there is mainly something called QUALITY OF LIFE, which is taken into consideration by anyone with an IQ higher than that of a chicken.

    1. The standard of living, the facilities, the food, the weather and the scenery are outstanding in Saudi Arabia. What Leao won’t find is nightclubs and casinos, if that’s his thing. You can understand players with families moving there, but not those in their prime.

      1. I think it depends on views of human rights because no amount of cash would make me bring my family or friends to a country that has huge issues with freedom of speech and human rights and if you step over that line you risk getting severely punished, That is not the sort of countries that i would support to any extend either with cash or my presence as a celebrity and then pretty much blue stamping the regimes.
        Neither would i like to live in a dessert country but thats a different matter.

      2. You simply can’t compare a country like Italy to Saudi Arabia, in terms of overall culture, History etc. etc. etc. It’s even inconceivable to think about it. And don’t think that my argument is based on an anti-Islamic bias or anything like that. If Morocco or Iran, for example, had top-tier football leagues, I would understand perfectly well that a player would want to go there. Anyway, that’s it.

        1. I’ve lived in Saudi Arabia and been to Milan so, unlike most people, actually know what I’m talking about. Morocco and Iran are poor countries, they’re comparable to Turkey, not to Saudi Arabia.

          1. I’m not talking about FVCKIN’ money, I’m talking about all the other FVCKIN’ things in life. It’s really incredible, some people can think only about money.

        2. “I’m not talking about FVCKIN’ money, I’m talking about all the other FVCKIN’ things in life. It’s really incredible, some people can think only about money.”

          Who is talking about money? I wrote:

          The standard of living, the facilities, the food, the weather and the scenery are outstanding in Saudi Arabia.

          Do you think the average footballer gives a crap about LGBTQ+ rights or free speech? Of course they don’t. They’re athletes, not activists or journalists. We don’t even see that with foreigners who play in the major leagues. As the old saying goes, don’t s*it where you eat.

  6. pulisic play from the Lw for usa and he his a beast from that wing. chuku displayed better when playing as a RW in Milan and get lost the min he play from Lw. plus he play RW in Nigeria national team.

    Leao failed as a Cf under Pioli and Lewandoski hit is lowest figures under Xavi

    don’t be a sissy
    Accelotti 1.1

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