Ex-England international Paul Robinson believes Manchester City will be keen to beat Chelsea and other clubs to the signature of AC Milan winger Rafael Leao.
Reports in the Italian media last week suggested that manager Pep Guardiola is a big fan of the Portuguese international and would be interested in bringing him to the Etihad Stadium. Robinson feels that the 23-year-old would add more depth to City’s squad:
“They are probably looking at signing him just so others do not have him. City are amassing a squad with two top-quality players in every position. They do not need any additions when you look at their squad. But we know that Pep Guardiola likes to rotate. To have a player like Leao at your disposal would be great. If the board are going to let you sign him, why wouldn’t you? City are a team competing on all fronts so I’m sure he would be interested even if he is not guaranteed to start. You are guaranteed to win silverware at City. What player would not want that?”
Leao does have a €150m (£131m) release clause and, up until now, Milan have refused to sell the winger for below that figure. However, his contract situation may see them lower their demands.
The forward has less than two years remaining on his current deal at the San Siro and, if he refuses to sign an extension, the player’s value will begin to drop soon.
Milan’s technical director Paolo Maldini has already confirmed that Chelsea made a formal enquiry in the summer transfer window so the Blues’ interest is legitimate. We shall see if City also step up their pursuit of Leao in January or at the end of the season.