Chelsea thought they were close to verbal agreement for eight-goal winger
Chelsea were confident that they were close to signing AC Milan winger Rafael Leao but eventually failed to reach an agreement, according to journalist Ben Jacobs.
During the January transfer window, Leao was arguably one of the hottest names in the market.
Considering the uncertainty over his contract situation and his being in the final 18 months of his deal, it was quite a surprise that he eventually stays at San Siro.
Jacobs claims that two English clubs; Chelsea and Manchester City, showed interest in the Portugal international.
Chelsea, in particular, however, were said to be put off by Milan’s asking price.
“Chelsea thought they came quite close to striking a verbal agreement but were unable to agree a fee,” Jacobs told TEAMtalk when speaking about Leao.
“Milan have always held out relatively highly, wanting at least €85 million (£75m), and some say even more, because the player is in form.”
Well, based on Chelsea’s spending spree in January, it is safe to assume that the price tag was not the only issue.
Bear in mind that the west London club signed Mykhailo Mudryk from Shakhtar Donetsk in a deal reportedly worth up to £88.5m, although the initial fee was said to be around £62m.
Mudryk has not set the world alight so far at Chelsea, but neither has Leao been able to replicate his pre-World Cup form with Milan.
Regardless, the Ukraine international’s arrival likely ended Chelsea’s pursuit of Leao.
In addition to Mudryk, Chelsea also still have Raheem Sterling and Christian Pulisic, who also prefer to operate on the left, at their disposal.
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