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Man Utd ready to rival Chelsea over deal to sign Rafael Leao

Rafael Leao ac milan 2022

The Mirror has reported that Manchester United have joined Chelsea in the race to sign AC Milan forward Rafael Leao. 

Leao has been heavily linked with a move to Chelsea with the Blues said to be interested in signing the 23-year-old. Chelsea are also believed to have made a £70 million offer for Leao in the closing stages of the summer window. The Italian outfit, however, held out and stood firm on their desire to keep hold of their man.

Now, according to the Mirror, Manchester United have also entered the frame for Leao but Erik ten Hag has been told that he will need to wait until next summer for any potential transfer as money will come at a premium at Old Trafford this winter. Ten Hag is also believed to be a big admirer of the winger and the former Ajax boss sent scouts to watch Leao in action against Chelsea across the two Champions League legs.

The Red Devils boss was keen on Anthony Martial cementing his place in the lineup but with the Frenchman’s injury problems resurfacing, ten Hag is looking at Leao as a potential option to reinforce his attack. 

There have been reports suggesting the Rossonerri will only part ways with their man if his £130.5 million release clause is met. However, the Mirror suggests that Leao is valued at just £60 million by Milan. The Italian giants want the youngster to commit his long-term future to the club and have offered him a new contract which would see him earn more than £100k a week. The player has so far rejected the proposal.

Leao started his career at Sporting Lisbon and rose through the academy ranks where he earned the title, ‘Portuguese Mbappe’ due to the similarities in his playing style with the Frenchman. He joined Lille in 2018 following a controversial contract cancellation with Sporting before being snapped up by Milan for £30 million in 2019. 

Our view

Leao is one of the upcoming talents in Europe and in a proper attacking setup, he is bound to flourish. One thing that needs to be answered is if he is worth the sun that Milan are believed to be asking for him. Especially since only one year would be left on his deal with the Italian giants, next summer. 

With the Manchester side not planning to spend big this winter, any potential big-money transfers will have to wait until the end of the season. They will, however, encounter some serious competition for Leao next summer with Chelsea also right in the mix, so it will be interesting to see if ten Hag can convince the forward about his project. Qualifying for the UEFA Champions League next season will be key. 

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