Barcelona target Rafael Leao
La Liga heavyweights Barcelona are reportedly following the progress of 22-year-old Portuguese attacking sensation Rafael Leao at Serie A side AC Milan.
According to a report by Spanish publication SPORT, Rafael Leao is the subject of interest from Barcelona over a possible move in the summer transfer window. AC Milan’s 22-year-old attacking sensation agent Jorge Mendes shares a healthy working relationship with the Blaugrana.
Rafael Leao spent his formative years in Portugal before graduating from Sporting CP’s academy around half a decade ago. But after short stints with the Portuguese club’s first team and LOSC Lille, it was by joining AC Milan in August 2019 that the youngster found stable bases.
After some teething problems, the 22-year-old has slowly come into his own, establishing himself as a pivotal figure for the Serie A giants this season. Leao has 11 goals and six assists in 31 outings in all competitions. And it’s no surprise that his exploits for AC Milan have been noticed by some of Europe’s biggest clubs, including Barcelona.
Barcelona will likely enter the market for multiple attacking reinforcements in the summer transfer window, and for good reason. Signing a striker is their priority, with the Blaugrana recently presenting an offer to Erling Haaland. But Barcelona will also likely sign a wide striker.
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That’s because Memphis Depay faces an uncertain future at Camp Nou after dropping the pecking order. Meanwhile, Ousmane Dembele will become a free agent in the summer transfer window as things stand. Barcelona will therefore need to invest in a wide striker, with Raphinha recently emerging as a target.
Leao is also an option worth considering for Barcelona, especially given the projection he has shown over the past two years. But getting the 22-year-old away from AC Milan will be a difficult task, with the Rossoneri eager to bind him to a new contract.
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Leao’s current deal with the Serie A giants runs until June 2024, which means he would be priced high anyway. And if Haaland does end up joining Barcelona, a significant chunk of his budget will go to the Norwegian striker, meaning the Portuguese attacking sensation seems unlikely to be earned just yet.