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Soccer

AC Milan forward Rafael Leão on Real Madrid’s radar

AC Milan have started talks over a new deal for their star player and want to increase his release clause to between €200 million and €250 million.

Update:
Portugal's forward Rafael Leao attends a press conference at Cidade do Futebol training camp in Oeiras, Portugal, on May 27, 2022. Portugal's football team prepares the upcoming UEFA Nations League matches against Spain, Switzerland and Czech Republic in June. (Photo by Pedro Fiúza/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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Rafael Leão is one of the players on Real Madrid’s radar. The Portuguese forward has played a key role for Milan in their league-winning campaign. After an outstanding Serie A season, the former Lille man has been voted player of the year in Italy at just 22 for his role in guiding the club back to the top of Italian football.

His contract in Milan expires in 2024 and he has a termination clause of €150 million. Milan’s sporting director Paolo Maldini has suggested that he will not leave the Serie A club for less than the amount set in his contract.

“He is a diamond in the rough who has made big improvements from one year to the next. We took him from the bench at Lille paying €24 million and immediately gave him a clause of €150 million because we believed in his potential. It’s clear that if in the future Milan are not at Leão’s level, or Leão is not at Milan’s level, things can change”.

Milan, aware of Real Madrid’s interest in the Portugal international, have already contacted his agent to discuss a contract extension and negotiate an increase in his release clause, up to €200 million and €250 million.

Swap deal involving Asensio or Jovic

Marco Asensio, who is also represented by agent Jorge Mendes, and Luka Jovic are two players who are popular in Milan and could be part of a swap deal to lower the asking price. The Portuguese forward is very happy in Milan and reportedly wants to stay at the San Siro, but would not turn down a move to La Liga if Madrid were to come in for him.

In 2021/22, he made 42 appearances for Milan, scoring 14 goals and registering 12 assists. He will play for Portugal against Spain in the Nations League on Thursday. Madrid scouts are sure to be keeping a close eye on the hugely talented youngster.

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