Rafael Leao is working hard to convince AC Milan to keep him at the San Siro amid reports Wolves are in talks with the Rossoneri over the Everton target, according to Calciomercato.
The Portuguese forward is going the extra mile in Milan’s pre-season to show head coach Stefano Pioli his potential. Leao enjoyed a steady start to the last Serie A term but failed to maintain his form across the entire campaign.
Leao offered five goals and four assists in his first 13 league appearances, but only added one more goal and two assists in his following 17 outings. The 22-year-old also suffered a handful of injuries, and ended the Serie A term as Milan’s fifth-top scorer.
The Rossoneri now appear open to parting with the forward, just two years after paying Lille £32m for him. And the Premier League could be Leao’s next destination, with Everton and Wolves both reportedly keen on the Milan star.
Last week, Gazzetta dello Sport claimed Wolves are speaking with Milan over signing Leao. And in a boost to Bruno Lage’s pursuit, the Rossoneri are open to selling the Portuguese. Although Calciomercato have previously noted €30m (£26m) is their minimum price to sell.
Calciomercato also cited Wolves’ interest in Leao, but added they faced competition from Everton and Marseille for the Milan attacker. The Ligue 1 outfit had also approached his agent, Jorge Mendes, to discuss taking the forward to France this summer.
However, Wolves and Everton have some ground to make up if they are to convince Leao to leave Milan. The striker’s desire is to stay at the San Siro, where the U21 international is under contract until 2024.
Leao deals Everton and Wolves blow with Milan desires
Leao has certainly dealt Everton and Wolves blows to their pursuits with his desires and determination to stay at Milan. He is going to extra lengths to convince Pioli that his place remains at the San Siro, and not elsewhere.
The £35,000-per-week attacker can also argue that his form was on the up, overall, last term to his debut campaign. Leao tripled the number of assists he offered and matched his goal tally. Had the striker kept up his early form, his place would absolutely now be secure.
Riccardo Trevisani also hailed Leao’s importance to the Milan side back in April, showing why Wolves and Everton are keen.
“He can be very useful, it also depends on how he is in his head,” Trevisani said, via Milan Reports. “When he is on the spot, he has done extraordinary things. If he is well, he makes the difference from the first to the 90th.”