AC Milan chief Paolo Maldini has admitted he is confident that Rafael Leao will soon sign a new contract but has confessed that the Chelsea target is 'not unsellable'.
90min revealed earlier in the summer that Chelsea had made an informal approach for the 23-year-old striker, with Maldini later confirming that he did not hesitate to turn the Blues' offer away. Sources have confirmed that Chelsea remain interested in Leao, however.
Keeping Leao beyond the end of his current contract, which expires in 2024, has always been Milan's top priority but the Portugal international's future has been complicated by claims from Leao's boyhood side, Sporting CP, that he unfairly terminated his contract to join Lille in 2018, with the club looking for over €16m in damages.
“Leao has a different situation which comes from his transfer to Lille,” Maldini told La Gazzetta dello Sport of the complications with Sporting.
“This is having an impact, interlocutors have often changed, but Rafa is grateful to us and I take into account what he says.
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“Rafa understands that the path for the next few years must be at Milan. He understands it and he says it. There will be a negotiation, and we know that strong players must be paid for their value. If the team improves further, he will have everything to do even more. Then, of course, nobody is unsellable, in any team in the world.”
Reports have suggested that Leao is open to signing a new contract with Milan but he wants the Rossoneri to pay a portion of his fine from Sporting - something Maldini insisted is not an option.
Asked if he is confident over reaching an agreement over a new deal with Leao, Maldini responded: “Yes, with him, but we have nothing to do with Sporting CP.”