Bruno Lage’s Wolves are in talks to finally bring long-term transfer target Rafael Leao to the Premier League from Italian giants AC Milan, as reported by Gazzetta dello Sport.
While the Lage era started in inconspicuous fashion at the weekend, losing 1-0 in a pre-season opener at Crewe Alexandra, there were still enough reasons for optimism.
The performance of Barcelona loanee Francisco Trincao was one – all silk and skill – while a high-pressing, high-octane style of football should bring plenty of cheer to the Molineux faithful.
Nuno Espirito Santo will remain a Wolverhampton Wanderers legend to many fans but some of the performances during his last season in the Black Country should be prescribed as a miracle drug for insomnia.
Leao would represent another exciting piece of the Lage puzzle.
The former Sporting Lisbon and Lille forward, who joined Milan for £30 million in summer 2019, boasts searing pace and the kind of direct dribbling that strikes fear into the heart of defenders.
The Portugal U21 international could also play out wide or through the middle in Lage’s preferred 4-4-2 formation.
Is AC Milan ace Rafael Leao finally heading to Wolves?
Wolves were first linked with Leao in 2019, when a player dubbed the “Portuguese Mbappe” was making a name for himself back home in Lisbon.
The Premier League outfit failed with an approach last summer too but are clearly not taking ‘no’ for an answer.
According to Gazzetta dello Sport, talks between Leao and Wolves are under way again.
AC Milan are willing to sell one of their two up-and-coming widemen – Leao or Jens Petter Hauge – with the former understood to be valued in the region of £43 million.
Wolves have shown a willingness to break the bank for a youngster brimming with potential before. And Leao, as you may have guessed, is another Jorge Mendes client.
“Rafael is a number nine,” Tiago Fernandes, Leao’s former coach at the Estadio Jose Alvalade, said in 2019. “I’d say he reminds me of ‘Fenomeno’ Ronaldo for his pace, technique and the quality of his finishing.
“Rafael is the best player in the history of the Sporting academy. As a youngster, he was better than Cristiano Ronaldo.”