Jorge Mendes Offered His Top-Class Client to Milan

Super-agent Jorge Mendes has reportedly offered three highly-rated midfielders to AC Milan during the ongoing talks over Rafael Leao’s contract extension. According to Rudy Galetti of Sportitalia, Lille star Renato Sanches was a subject of discussion during the parties’ negotiations over Leao’s contractual status at San Siro.

Milan seem to have learned their lesson when it comes to their players’ contracts after losing the likes of Gianluigi Donnarumma and Hakan Calhanoglu for free this summer. Keen to avoid experiencing similar setbacks in the future, the Rossoneri are already working around the clock to tie some of their influential first-team figures down to new deals.

One of those players is Leao, who has gone from strength to strength in 2021, establishing himself as one of the headline performers in Serie A. The 22-year-old put pen to paper on a five-year contract back in 2019 upon his arrival from Lille, but the San Siro powerbrokers are poised to convince him to commit to fresh terms as soon as possible. Hence, talks with Mendes are well underway.

In the meantime, Paolo Maldini and Ricky Massara are keeping their eyes peeled for value in the transfer market, particularly in light of Franck Kessie’s contract saga. The Ivorian has been hesitant over accepting Milan’s offer and could wave goodbye to the club when his deal expires at the end of the season. 

Well aware of Milan’s hunt for a new box-to-box midfielder, Mendes pitched the Rossoneri with the idea of bringing his client Renato Sanches to Serie A. The 24-year-old has found his feet at Lille following a lackluster three-year stint at Bayern Munich, growing into one of the most sought-after Ligue 1 midfielders. 

Milan were linked with a move for Sanches in the past. However, a lack of funds hindered the Italians’ hopes of landing the Portugal international. With Mendes now firmly on their side in the wake of the club’s efforts to cut ties with Mino Raiola’s personnel, last season’s Serie A runners-up might have a much-required leg-up in potential negotiations with Lille.

In addition to Sanches, Porto’s Vitinha and Palhinha of Sporting Lisbon were the other two profiles proposed by Mendes. While both players have developed into world-class talents, the ex-Benfica midfielder could be Milan’s go-to option should they decide to pursue Kessie’s replacement next summer.