Home News Sports Chelsea interested in Rafael Leao as he eyes AC Milan pay rise

Chelsea interested in Rafael Leao as he eyes AC Milan pay rise

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The summer transfer window is closed for the major leagues in Europe. However, with an eye on January, there’s plenty of gossip swirling about who’s moving where. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz on rumours, comings, goings and, of course, done deals!

The 23-year-old Portugal international forward is currently contracted at AC Milan until 2024, but after Chelsea looked to make a move for his signature towards the end of the summer transfer window, the Rossoneri have wasted no time in initiating contract talks over a new long-term deal.

Having contributed to eight goals in as many appearances across all competitions this season, it is reported that Leao wants to reach an agreement before the World Cup starts in November to avoid potential distractions. The Serie A champions are willing to offer him a salary increase on his current deal to a figure worth in the region of €6 million per season, but it is understood that he is looking for a total closer to €7m.

AC Milan have previously been reported to be looking for a fee of €150m, his release clause, before they will enter talks over a possible transfer.

11.50 BST: Two USMNT stars made big moves to the Premier League this summer but are excited for November.

10.44 BST: Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo has said he will not retire from international duty after the World Cup and wants to compete at Euro 2024.

Manchester United forward said the “road is not over yet” for him when speaking at a gala hosted by the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) on Tuesday for becoming the highest men’s international goal-scorer in September 2021.

“I am proud to receive an award of this magnitude,” Ronaldo said. “I never thought that one day I could achieve it. I thank everyone who was important in my career. It has been a long road, but I would like to say that my road is not over yet. [You’re going to have to] take a little more load from Cris [Ronaldo.]”

Since making his Portugal debut in 2003, Ronaldo has scored 117 goals in 189 international games, surpassing the 109-goal record set by former Iran striker Ali Daei.

A five-time Ballon d’Or winner, Ronaldo captained Portugal to Euro 2016 glory and the 2019 Nations League.

“I hope to be part of the Federation for a few more years,” he added. “I still feel motivated, my ambition is high. I’m in a team with young people. I want to be part of this World Cup and the European too; I’m going to assume that right away.”

10.22 BST: El Mundo has revealed some of the contract demands made by Lionel Messi to renew his Barcelona deal in 2020.

The Spanish newspaper claims to have had access to documents and emails which show that Messi wanted a three-year deal, a €10m signing-on bonus, guarantees he would be paid back deferred wages, the reduction of his release clause and a private box for his and Luis Suarez‘s families at Camp Nou.

Later that same year, after the 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich, Messi filed a transfer request via a burofax, a form of recorded delivery, but it wasn’t until 2021 when he left for Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer.

In 2021, he had agreed the terms of a new contract with new president Joan Laporta, although Barca could not afford to register it with LaLiga, while his requests the previous year were never greenlit by previous president Josep Maria Bartomeu.

Messi had wanted to extend his deal until 2023 with a unilateral option to add on another year. He also wanted his release clause cut from €700m to a symbolic €10,000.

He was willing to forgo 20% of his fixed salary (which was around €70m annually at the time) in 2020-21 as the club continued to deal with the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, but he requested all deferred wages be paid back in the following seasons.

According to the report, Messi also wanted guarantees that his brother, Rodrigo, an agent, would be paid what he was owed by the club and that his salary would be adjusted accordingly in the case of any tax hikes, among other things.

09.33 BST: Real Sociedad midfielder Martin Zubimendi is Barcelona’s No.1 target to replace Sergio Busquets next season, according to various reports in the Catalan media.

Zubimendi, 23, has a contract at Anoeta until 2025 and a €60m release clause, which La Real are trying to increase, per Mundo Deportivo. He is set to make his 100th appearance for Real Sociedad after the international break and has also been capped once by Spain, although he was not included in Luis Enrique’s most recent squad.

Barca are preparing for life after Busquets, who is 34 now and is out of contract next summer. Diario Sport reports that he wants to leave when his deal expires, with Major League Soccer’s Inter Miami an option for the Spain midfielder.

09.11 BST: Netherlands centre-back Matthijs de Ligt believes he made the right move to join Bayern Munich for €77m from Juventus in the summer.

The former Ajax star snubbed Barcelona and moved to Juventus in 2019 for €75m and made 117 appearances for the Turin giants. But this summer, the 23-year-old signed a five-year contract with the Bundesliga champions.

“Making the move to Bayern Munich for me was a leap in quality in terms of squad,” he told Sky Italy. “It’s a club that has the ambition to always win the Champions League. At Juventus, that ambition was smaller.

“I felt it was the right time to make that leap in quality and I did it. I had a lot of fun at Juventus but Bayern is closer to the national team’s philosophy.”

08.42 BST: Atletico Madrid forward Alvaro Morata has revealed he was close to joining Barcelona in the last January transfer window.

Morata, who was playing on loan at Juventus from Atletico Madrid, even spoke to Barcelona coach Xavi about the possibility of moving to Camp Nou.

“There were options,” said Morata, who returned to Atletico this summer after a two-year loan spell at Juve. “I spoke with Xavi, we spoke about football and other things. It felt good talking to Xavi, the coach and a former player that I looked up to when I was young.

“I had four or five possibilities to leave in the winter transfer window but in the end, the Juventus coach [Massimiliano] Allegri wanted me to stay. Allegri wanted me to stay at Juventus and told me that he wanted me to play with [Dusan] Vlahovic. Also, Atletico was the one that had the last day.”

08.00 BST: Real Madrid winger Marco Asensio has remained tight-lipped over his future amid reports that Barcelona are interested in him.

Asensio, 26, has not signed a contract extension with Madrid with his deal expiring next summer.

Asked if Barca had contacted him, Asensio told Cope: “I honestly don’t know. I’m focused on the present, on the now and I’m here to give everything to the national team and then with my club. I haven’t thought about it, I haven’t evaluated it. These are things that emerge.

“I had 200 messages from my friends when that [Barcelona reports] came out. I told them that I live in a world where there are a lot of rumours and it’s normal. From January I can sign with any club and it’s normal that I will be linked with many other clubs.

“There’s always going to be news and that I cannot control.”

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Matt Turner and Brenden Aaronson speak about preparing for the World Cup with games vs. Japan and Saudi Arabia.

PAPER GOSSIP (by Adam Brown)

Arkadiusz Milik is impressing while on loan with Juventus, who want to sign him on a permanent basis, says Calciomercato. The 28-year-old striker has scored three goals in three starts for the Bianconeri since joining from Marseille in the summer, and the deal includes an option that allows the Serie A club to sign him for €7m.

Arsenal have been linked with Eintracht Frankfurt‘s Jesper Lindstrom of late, but SPORT1 reveals that there is no release clause in his contract that expires in 2026. The 22-year-old attacking midfielder has been a key player for Frankfurt since a breakout season in the 2021-22 campaign, and it looks as though teams from across Europe will be monitoring his progress in January.

Everton midfielder Allan is in talks with Al Wahda, writes Football Insider. The 31-year-old is yet to make an appearance for Frank Lampard’s side this season, and with the transfer window set to open until Oct. 4 in the UAE Pro League, they are hopeful of landing Allan before the deadline closes. The Brazilian joined Everton from Napoli for £21m in 2020.

AC Milan are tracking Ligue 1 winger Jeremy Doku, reveals Calciomercato. While the 20-year-old has been on the San Siro hierarchy’s radar for some time, they are waiting to see how he performs for Rennes this season. Doku contributed to three goals as Belgium defeated Belarus 8-0 back in March, but he has since found the majority of his appearances coming from the bench.

– After ESPN reported that Nice were interested in Mauricio Pochettino to take over the vacant manager’s job on Tuesday, The Daily Telegraph says that the Argentine coach is not keen on returning to management with the Ligue 1 club. The former Tottenham Hotspur manager has been a free agent since he parted ways with Paris Saint-Germain in July.

– Former Lille midfielder Xeka is set to sign with Rennes until 2024, reports Nicolo Schira. Xeka had been a free agent since his contract with the Ligue 1 club expired in the summer, but it looks as though he will remain in France‘s top flight after agreeing to terms with Les Rennais. Reports previously suggested that the 27-year-old was offered to Arsenal.



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