Rafael Leao: AC Milan forward 'non-transferable' amid Real Madrid interest

Tom Gott
AC Milan do not plan on losing Leao
AC Milan do not plan on losing Leao / Jonathan Moscrop/GettyImages

AC Milan director Paolo Maldini has warned Real Madrid that they are not interested in parting ways with young forward Rafael Leao this summer.

With Real failing to land either Kylian Mbappe or Erling Haaland, they are looking for new transfer targets and reports have tipped them to turn to Leao, who racked up 11 goals and ten assists in 34 outings as Milan secured the Serie A title in 2021/22.

Talk of a €120m bid has emerged recently but Maldini told La Gazzetta dello Sport that Milan will knock back any bids and pointed to the 22-year-old's €150m release clause.

"Non-transferable? Of course, [Leao] is a diamond that is still in the making," he said. "A player who made a massive improvement from one year to the next.

"We signed him from the Lille bench by paying €24m and we immediately put a clause of €150m in his contract because [Zvonimir] Boban, [Frederic] Massara and I believed in him. As far as potential goes, he has always been a champion.

"He had to follow a path which, importantly, is not yet finished. He is extremely talented and needed a little help. I talked to him a lot.

"Obviously, if in the future Milan are no longer at Leao's level, or Leao is not at Milan's level, then things will change. But at this time, the growth is exponential for both the club and for him."

Leao arrived in Milan as a striker but spent this past season playing as more of a left winger, playing wide of either Olivier Giroud or Zlatan Ibrahimovic and reaping the rewards with the best goalscoring season of his budding career.