The future of Rafael Leão continues to be uncertain. However, scoring a brace to help AC Milan in the heavy 4-0 win over Napoli has reportedly led to the resumption of contract talks with the club.
Leão performance vs Napoli
Leão has been in inconsistent form this season despite scoring 11 goals and providing 10 assists in 36 appearances in all competitions. His performance against Napoli was his best showing of the season. He tormented the Napoli defense with his pace and skill. It was a glimpse to last season, when he won Serie A’s Player of the Year award.
During the post-match interview, Leão made a point to note that his recent form has not been his best. He is determined to answer the critics on the pitch like he did on Saturday. Leão also thanked his coach and teammates for helping him through the last few months.
Rafael Leão’s contract with AC Milan expires in 2024, and there has been speculation that he could leave the club this summer. Manchester City and Real Madrid are the biggest contenders to acquire the Portuguese winger’s services. However, his performance against Napoli has reportedly convinced Milan to go back to the negotiating table.
The new contract is expected to make the Serie A’s MVP one of the highest-paid players at Milan. It is also expected to include a sizable release clause.
The resumption of contract talks with Leão is a positive sign for Milan. They are confident that he will be a key part of their squad for the future. His performance against Napoli was a reminder of his immense talent, and he will be looking to continue his good form in the coming matches.
The biggest block in negotiations has been the enormous fine (€16.5 million) that, in accordance with the courts, Leão must pay to Sporting CP for leaving the club abruptly and without consent following the incident in the Sporting’s academy.
In 2018, Sporting fans invaded the training facilities leading to multiple assaults on players and staff. Milan and Lille are now working together to unburden Leão of Sporting’s compensation.
Leão is considered to be one of the most talented young players in Europe. He has the potential to be one of the best players in the world, and Milan will be keen to keep him at the club for many years to come.
Milan are currently third in the Serie A table, 20 points behind leaders Napoli. They are not in the same form that they were in last season, but they will more than likely finish in the top four. Milan finishing in a UCL spot means that the world will continue to see Leão and his progression in the game as he becomes one of the world’s most exciting wingers.
However, rumors of his uncertain future have him linked to the biggest stages of football such as the the Etihad Stadium and the Santiago Bernabeu, with their respective teams doing everything they can to make a transfer possible.
It remains to be seen where the Portuguese winger will be playing next season. If both parties do not agree to a new contract, Milan may end up selling Leão as they would not want him to leave on a free transfer following the 2024 season. Milan will hope that Leão’s performance against Napoli will translate into a much better run of form for the rest of the season.