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Manchester City 'willing to bid £130m for AC Milan forward Rafael Leao'

Man City 'willing to bid £130m for AC Milan's Rafael Leao'
© Reuters
Manchester City are reportedly willing to offer a whopping €150m (£130m) for AC Milan forward Rafael Leao, who is also wanted by Manchester United.

Manchester City are reportedly willing to offer a whopping €150m (£130m) for AC Milan forward Rafael Leao.

The 24-year-old has established himself as a star player with the Rossoneri and has elevated his game to new heights in recent seasons.

Since joining Milan from Lille in the summer of 2019, Leao has made a total of 179 appearances for the club across all competitions, scoring 47 goals and registering 40 assists.

The Portugal international was a standout performer as Milan won the 2021-22 Serie A title, recording 11 goals and 10 assists in 34 league games and he was subsequently named the division's Player of the Year.

Leao then contributed with 16 goals and 15 assists in 48 games across all tournament last season as Milan finished fourth in Serie A as well as reached the Champions League semi-finals, and he has since chipped in with four goals and four assists in 16 matches this term.

AC Milan's Rafael Leao celebrates scoring their first goal on November 7, 2023© Reuters

Leao was strongly linked with a possible departure from San Siro last summer, with the likes of Man City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain all credited with an interest in his services.

Speculation over his future seemingly cooled in June when the forward committed his future to Milan by signing a new five-year contract until the summer of 2028.

However, a recent report claims that Man United still hold an interest in Leao and are determined to recruit the Portuguese next summer, but they may face stern competition for his signature.

According to Fichajes, rivals Man City are one of several clubs interested in Leao and are prepared to make an enormous offer of €150m (£130m), the minimum asking price set by Milan.

AC Milan's Rafael Leao celebrates their first goal on February 14, 2023© Reuters

Leao is understood to possess a €175m (£131m) release clause in his new Milan contract, but the Italian giants could be prepared to entertain offers slightly below that valuation.

Man City's interest in Leao comes at a time when the long-term future of Portuguese compatriot Bernardo Silva is uncertain.

The 29-year-old playmaker has spent the last six-and-a-half years at the Etihad Stadium, scoring 58 goals and providing 62 assists in 319 appearances and winning a total of 14 trophies including five Premier League titles.

Although Bernardo signed a new three-year contract with the Citizens in the summer, he recently reiterated his desire to return to boyhood club Benfica before he decides to hang up his boots.

Man City have also been linked with a number of other attack-minded players including Napoli winger Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and former Citizens man Leroy Sane, now at Bayern Munich.

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2Manchester CityMan City25175358263256
4Aston Villa25154652331949
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs25145652381447
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd2514293534144
7Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2510874840838
8Newcastle UnitedNewcastle251141053411237
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham2510693644-836
11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves25105103940-135
15Crystal Palace2567122844-1625
16Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest2566133244-1224
18Luton TownLuton2555153551-1620
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd2534182265-4313

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