Why Leao’s renewal situation is different from others regardless of the outcome

By Oliver Fisher -

At the moment nobody knows how the Rafael Leao renewal saga will end – probably not even the player himself – but the transparency of all parties involved is reassuring.

Leao’s contract is currently set to expire in June 2024 and there is no shortage of newspaper headlines and journalistic insight regarding the way that things are going to end, despite the uncertainty that both sides continue to admit to. If you have a gut feeling on how it will end, try football odds at Midnite.

MilanNews recall the words of Leao prior to Sunday’s 2-0 victory against Atalanta at San Siro in which he was asked about his future with the Rossoneri.

“I feel good at Milan, I feel good, I’m talking to the people who need to talk. Let’s see what happens at the end of the season, but now it’s important to play the game and finish the season well,” he said.

He was followed in the media zone by Ricky Massara – the sporting director of Milan – who gave his perception on the way things are at the moment involving the Portuguese forward but also Olivier Giroud.

“We are stuck in the previous chapter but we are ready to write new ones with him and Giroud. We are working to find a solution and also in a short time,” he said.

In other words, there is still a stalemate linked to the usual obstacles such as the situation with his agents and the fine owed to Sporting CP, but the will is there from the club and the player to try and work towards an agreement that satisfies everyone.

Of course the Rossoneri management have naturally begun to ponder a sale given that this summer Leao will be a year away from expiry, and they know that his exit would likely generate serious revenues and probably a club-record sale.

However, as long as there are weeks on the calendar and the will to talk, there is the legitimate hope that an agreement will be reached.

The Leao situation is different to the one seen with Gianluigi Donnarumma, Hakan Calhanoglu and Franck Kessie because since day one it has been made clear by everyone involved that it will be a complicated negotiation. In short, there have been no false promises or declarations of certainty.

It is also different to what is happening on the other side of the city with Milan Skriniar, because the Inter defender’s agent came out to reveal that a renewal was rejected in November, but then everything seemed to be going well in talks with Beppe Marotta and then last month news broke that he would be joining PSG in the summer, leaving the Nerazzurri scrambling to consider a sale.

After games in which the Curva Nord chanted for the Slovak and even dedicated banners to him begging him to stay, a clarifying meeting between Skriniar himself and the ultras was needed to reach an agreement that he will not become a target.

On the other hand dialogues continue constantly and constructively between Milan and Leao’s entourage to try and strike a deal, and then in the summer if sufficient progress has not been made a more amicable parting of ways will be agreed.

Tags AC Milan Rafael Leao


  1. This is hilarious.
    It’s very simple, Can you get the job done and resign him or not, can you sell him before his contract expires or not? If he leaves for free in 15 months then there is nothing different from the Donnarumma, Hakan, Kessie, Romagnoli situations. Nothing.
    Leao is saying the same things Gigio, Hakan and Romagnoli were saying during their contract situation, only Kessie made that mistake to publicly promise that he would stay.
    What makes Leao contract situation more complicated than others? The Sporting penalty? That’s why Milan is offering him a quadruple bump in his salary. If that’s not enough then it’s not complicated anymore, he needs to be sold.
    During the other 4 players negotiations we were also reading that “As long there are weeks on the calendar, and a will to talk, there is a legitimate hope that and agreement can be reached”, until there was no more time or will to talk and the players left for free, same happened with Skriniar at Inter.
    Can you get the job done or not. The rest of it is merely a critique of words with the use of other words. Empty talk

  2. The Sporting thing seems so absurd. Surely Leao would never be expected to just cut a cheque for the amount in full, right? So let’s just say he agrees to pay it over a term of 5 years and reaches that understanding with Sporting. Then Milan can offer to make that payment each year with whatever conditions need to be negotiated, and realistically the most likely outcome would be Milan pay maybe 2 installments and then selling Leao on to one of the mega rich clubs who would pay the remainder of the balance.

    Basically, it’s not like Milan even have to pledge to pay it outright for him. We’re talking about an extra 1 or 2 million for maybe two years. The prize winnings alone from keeping Leao for that period would cover it, and obviously the likely ultimate outcome is selling him in a couple years at his highest point from a place of true strength at the negotiation table across from a mega rich club.

    It boggles my mind that there just seems to be the same thing said over and over by management about the situation, when there SURELY has to be some sort of incremental solution to be agreed to.

  3. I appreciate the optimism but we can’t be naive, we’re dealing with Jorge Mendes here. Leao’s situation is different from Skriniar mostly in that he hasn’t found a PSG yet and Skriniar did. As soon as Skriniar’s agent found a convincing deal “the news broke” that Skriniar wanted to leave for PSG. These are negotiations and contacts that don’t happen in the overnight. Best case scenario for Jorge Mendes is waiting for Leao’s contract to run out because getting rid of a transfer fee means plenty more bidders/opportunities and juicier transfer bonuses for Mendes and Leao, and Mendes is the sport agent that he is today because he’s very good at making the best scenarios for him happen more often than not. The transfer market is not what it used to be, this is a street fight now. Don’t underestimate that.

  4. I am not happy to say that IMHO Milan has lost a big opportunity not helping Rafa to pay his debt. Leao is clearly underpaid at 1,5 mm per year.Milan should have fairly revised his salary since summer 21 up to 4,5 mm which he certainly deserves and possibly extending his contract one or two more years
    At this point RL might have paid already 6 mm of his debt and he would be stay until 25 or 26 very grateful to the club. In order to save 3 mm per year Milan almost certainly will lose him for free

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