Premier League Suitors Emerge for Milan Talent, Unlikely to Leave San Siro

An unlikely set of suitors have emerged for 22-year-old Portuguese winger Rafael Leao in recent weeks. The Milan forward has displayed top-notch performances in recent weeks, most memorably winning all three points for Milan against Sampdoria with a solitary goal at San Siro to keep alive the Rossoneri’s hopes of a first Scudetto title in over a decade.

Keeping that in mind, Milan director Ricky Massara and technical director Paolo Maldini are keen on holding onto their prized asset by offering him a contract renewal deal that extends beyond the current expiration date of June 2024. A pay rise for the Portuguese talent in also on the cards.

However, according to reports from Italian media outlet La Repubblica (via METRO), Arsenal are showing ‘strong interest’ for the Rossoneri winger, who arrived less than three years ago from French champions Lille. Although the Gunners are said to be interested in him, along with a few other English clubs, it is extremely unlikely that Milan will let one of the best young players walk through the exit door at San Siro.

The reports also indicate strong interest from ‘half of the Premier League’, with Merseyside outfit Everton and Wolves also keeping close tabs on his development.

Leao has been compared to Premier League great Thierry Henry for his positional awareness and similar sense of play, as manager Stefano Pioli has himself reflected in the past by saying: “He reminds me so much of Henry,” as did one of the Frenchman’s previous midfield teammate at Juventus, Alessio Tacchinardi.

Tacchinardi recalled the prowess of Henry in an interview with Tuttosport.

“The young Henry is the Leao of today. The characteristics of the two players are the same: you see the pace in one-on-ones and they always go on the outside to break through the opponent’s defence. I was slaughtered on social media for this comparison. But just compare the videos and there’s nothing else to say, they’re the same,” he commented.

Leao is currently experiencing his most prolific season in Diavolo colors, scoring ten and assisting six in 27 appearances across all competitions.