AC Milan technical director Paolo Maldini has addressed rumours of a potential exit for Rafael Leao, who has attracted interest from Man City and Chelsea
The 23-year-old forward impressed last term with 14 goals and 12 assists in 42 appearances, while he has already scored three goals in six Serie A matches this season.
Despite starting the current campaign in a positive manner, the Portuguese forward was rumored to move away from Serie A in the summer after Chelsea reportedly had an €80m (£69m) bid turned down late in the transfer window.
While Maldini has previously claimed that AC Milan would not sell the 23-year-old below his €150m (£130m) release clause, talks have stalled over a new deal.
The ex-Milan captain has addressed the Blues pursuit of Leao, who has two years left on his current deal.
As per Fabrizio Romano, Maldini said: “Chelsea haven’t sent any official bid for Leão — but they made a verbal proposal… and we rejected, of course.
“He knows that staying here is the best way to improve. We want to do great things with Rafa Leao in our project.”
Despite rejecting Chelsea’s approach, Milan could come under pressure to sell Leao next summer with Man City believed to be considering a move.
The Portugal international featured in his club’s 3-1 Champions League victory over Dinamo Zagreb on Wednesday where he provided an assist for Alexis Saelemaekers’s goal.