Chelsea are reportedly still keen on to sign Rafael Leao and are preparing to return for the Portuguese forward “in the coming months”.
The West London giants were linked with the 23-year-old in the latter stages of the last summer transfer window, however, Inter Milan are believed to have made it clear that he would not be available for under his release clause of €150m (£130m).
According to Italian journalist Gianluca di Marzio, Serie A giants”sent back” an offer from the Blues in the final moments of the summer market, with the Serie A giants directors Paolo Maldini and Frederic Massara turned down the bid.
“In a market where all clubs have to reckon with costs and budgets to keep in order, AC Milan have sent back a €70m (£61.4m)-€80m (£70.2m) offer presented by Chelsea,” Di Marzio told Tuttomercatoweb.
“In the last days of the market, in fact, the English club tried to make the Rossoneri ‘waver’ by putting a very rich offer on the table: a proposal, however, declined by Maldini and Massara.
“The latter [Massara] will now, however, have to try to solve the knot linked to the contract, with the 1999-born striker due to expire in 2024 and with whom there is still no economic agreement for renewal. Chelsea, and not only Chelsea, [are] an interested spectator and ready to return to the charge in the coming months.”
Rafael Leao has been in fine form for the Italian champions at the start of the 2022-23 season, founding back of the net three times and providing six assists in eight games in all competitions.
The 23-year-old attacker has three goals and three assists in six Serie A appearences, while he has contributed two assists in Milan’s Champions League games with Red Bull Salzburg and Dinamo Zagreb.
Leao enjoyed a strong 2021-22 campaign for his Serie A team, founding back of the net 14 times and providing 12 assists in 42 games in all competitions, which has allegedly led to a number of clubs expressing an interest.