AC Milan’s technical director Paolo Maldini has revealed that Chelsea made an approach to sign Rafael Leao in the summer transfer window.
The 23-year-old played a key role in AC Milan’s Serie A title success last season with 11 goals and eight assists.
Leao has carried over his excellent form to the new campaign where he has three goals and five assists so far.
The Portugal international attracted interest in the summer transfer window but AC Milan were adamant that he could only leave if his €150 million (£129.7m) buyout clause was met.
Maldini has confirmed that Chelsea enquired about Leao’s availability in the summer but their approach was rejected.
‘We have already started talking to him. But not now, for a long time. Every renewal can be simple or complicated, the will of the player makes the difference because that of the club is there,’ Maldini told Sky Italy on Wednesday evening.
‘Renewal is an issue that we addressed many months ago.
‘Rafa knows that to become stronger than now the solution is to stay with us. We are a young and growing team.
‘He still has to learn many things but we intend to do great things and grow with him.
‘Chelsea’s officially written offer did not arrive but on an informal level it did. Of course, it was rejected.’
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