Rafael Leao ‘close’ to agreeing new AC Milan contract amidst Manchester United interest
Portugal international Rafael Leao is ‘close’ to agreeing a new contract with AC Milan amidst interest from Manchester United, according to Sky Sport Italy’s Gianluca Di Marzio (h/t Express).
The Red Devils recently failed in their pursuit of Cody Gakpo, who has joined Liverpool from PSV Eindhoven. As a result, the Serie A outfit’s forward is being eyed as an alternative by the club.
Premier League rivals Manchester City are also interested in the 23-year-old’s signature. However, he looks set to stay in Italy.
Leao’s existing deal at the San Siro side expires in the summer of 2024. But it is likely that the Portuguese will put pen to paper to extend his stay after Milan increased their offer to £6.2 million per season.
The 23-year-old made his way to the Serie A giants in the summer of 2019 from Ligue 1 side LOSC Lille. It took a couple of seasons for the forward to settle in at the Italian outfit. However, he has been in fine form for them since last season.
Leao helped Milan lift the Scudetto in the 2021/22 campaign after an 11-year gap. He scored 11 goals and provided 11 assists in 34 Serie A appearances in the last term.
The 23-year-old has continued to perform well for the Rossoneri this season. He was also a key player for Portugal at the 2022 World Cup. However, Portugal were knocked out by Morocco in the quarter-finals.
United’s squad depth up front has been reduced after Cristiano Ronaldo’s untimely departure midway through the campaign. Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford are the two options Erik ten Hag has primarily used in the number nine position in Manchester.
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Thus, the Red Devils seemingly require another quality addition to the attack. However, it remains to be seen whether Leao will snub Milan for a move to the Theatre of Dreams.