AC Milan manager Stefano Pioli is waiting for good news on Rafael Leao’s contract extension.
Leao has been one of Milan’s most important players this season, with him registering seven goals and nine assists in just 20 appearances in all competitions.
His form has attracted interest from some of Europe’s elite, namely Real Madrid, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain – and with the 23-year-old’s current contract expiring in 2024, it looked as though a move could materialise.
However, Pioli claimed the situation looks to have changed, with Milan now confident they have found an agreement with the Portuguese star over a new contract.
Pioli told Sky Sport (as per Fabrizio Romano): “He’s really happy with us, it’s clear. Maldini & Rafa’s camp are in negotiations.
“We’re waiting for good news. He’s happy with Milan, I want him to stay.”
TIF Thoughts on Pioli’s comments…
If tying Leao down to a new deal isn’t enough to deter potential suitors from bidding for him, a new deal would put Milan in a hugely commanding position when it comes to any future negotiations with interested clubs.
Despite him only appearing in 59 minutes of action in Qatar during the group stages, Leao found the net in Portugal’s opening game against Ghana, proving just how clinical he is. Meanwhile, he ranks in the top 15% for goals from wingers with 0.42 per 90, outperforming his expected goals value of 0.37 per 90, as per FBref.
Vital to a Rossoneri side currently second in the table behind runaway leaders Napoli, his average match rating of 7.12 from WhoScored is the highest in the squad and is their top goalscorer and assist maker in Serie A, so we feel a new contract would be the best business all January for Milan if they can tie him down.