Manchester City may have one of the world’s best strikers in the shape of Erling Haaland, but another forward has been linked with a move to the Etihad. Rafael Leao, the AC Milan forward, has become the latest name linked with a move to City. The 23-year-old has made a name for himself in Serie A since his arrival in 2019. Now, Gazzetta dello Sport say City are mulling over a potential swap deal for the Portugal international. It comes following the news Leao is demanding a new contract worth €7million per year, with Milan only willing to pay €6m.
The report claims City and Premier League rivals Chelsea are eyeing up Leao, who is said to be worth more than £100m. It is claimed that makeweights could be used to entice Milan into selling a player whose contract runs out in 2024. Meanwhile, another report claims Pep Guardiola is on the trail of winger Alex Baena. According to Fichajes, City and their top-flight rivals Liverpool are both sniffing around the Villarreal man.
It is little wonder, given he has an impressive tally of six goals in 10 games for Unai Emery’s side so far this term. He earned his shot at his parent club after a profitable loan spell at second-tier Girona last season. His five goals and six assists earned them promotion to La Liga. The 21-year-old is said to have a £30m release clause in his contract – something City or a top-flight rival could trigger if his current form continues.
It’s hard to understand why Pep Guardiola wants to sign Leao despite having Erling Haaland to call on and lead his attack line but perhaps it appears that he wants to further bolster his squad just in case any of his star players sustain an injury. However, Leao may not he satisfied with occupying a bit-part role at City.