Chelsea are keeping tabs on AC Milan’s Portuguese forward Rafael Leao, 90min understands.
The Blues are ready to allow Romelu Lukaku to leave the club this summer, while the long-term futures of Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic are also far from certain.
Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele is a prime target and the club are hopeful he will soon complete a Bosman free transfer, but manager Thomas Tuchel wants additional reinforcements to bolster his forward options.
90min has learned that one player Chelsea have been looking at is Leao, who was named Serie A’s Most Valuable Player after a fantastic individual season helped Milan overcome rivals Inter to win the title for the first time since 2011.
Leao finished the campaign with 14 goals and 10 assists, and although he often plays out wide, the 22-year-old is also capable of playing as a central striker.
90min understands that Milan, who are under new ownership as of last week, are trying to tie Leao to a new long-term contract after Real Madrid and Manchester City were also linked with a possible move.
Listen now to 90min’s brand new podcast,Talking Transfers, with Scott Saunders, Graeme Bailey& Toby Cudworth. This week Harry Symeou steps in for Scott and the trio discuss the futures of Bukayo Saka, Rafael Leao, Romelu Lukaku, Kalvin Phillips, Youri Tielemans, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Raphinha, Gabriel Jesus and more.
Milan are willing to treble the wages of the Portugal international, as well as trying to replace his current release clause which currently stands at €150m.
Last week technical director Paolo Maldini insisted that Milan had no intention of allowing their prized asset depart the San Siro, stating: “Is Leao unsellable? Of course, he is a diamond that is still in the rough, who has shown great improvements from one year to the next.
“We took him from Lille by for just 24 million and we immediately put a clause of 150 million on him because we believed in him.
“It is clear that if in the future Milan will not be at Leao’s level or Leao will not be at Milan level, things will change. But in this moment the growth is exponential for the club and for him.”