Chelsea Offered Two Attacking Stars In Attempt To Sign Rafael Leao from AC Milan

Chelsea Offered Two Attacking Stars In Attempt To Sign Rafael Leao from AC Milan
Foto IPP/Paolo Bona Milano 23/04/2023 Campionato Serie A di Calcio stagione 2022/203 Milan-Lecce Nella foto Rafael Leao esulta dopo il gol del 1-0 Italy Photo Press Worldwide Copyright Photo by Icon Sport

Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic could have departed Chelsea during the summer transfer window last season as part of a swap deal involving AC Milan star Rafael Leao.

Co-owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali submitted an offer to Milan for Portuguese international Leao during their first transfer window.

The Blues valued the 23-year-old at £87million, but they wanted to include players in exchange to reduce the cash charge and round out the package.

AC Milan Rejected Chelsea’s Swap and Cash Bid To Acquire Leao’s Talents

The Athletic has reported that Chelsea offered Ziyech and Pulisic to Milan, but the Rossoneri rejected the offer as they were unconvinced that the swap deal was worth it.

They believed the Blues expressed interest too late in the transfer window and alluded to the £130 million release clause in Leao’s contract, which Boehly and Eghbali were unwilling to pay.

Four months later, after Leao had performed well in both Champions League matches against Chelsea earlier in the season, Chelsea re-opened their interest in the winger.

However, they were unable to procure Leao’s services once more. Graham Potter decided to recruit Ukrainian superstar Mykhailo Mudryk for £87 million instead.


After the conclusion of the January transfer window, Chelsea took another look at Leao’s situation and future, as his contract was nearing expiration. However, the Blues are poised to miss out on the attacker for the third transfer window in a row after he signed a five-year contract with Milan following his super performances in Europe’s elite competition.

The winger will be expected to lead AC Milan’s attacking play in the side’s second-leg Champions League semi-final versus inter-city rivals Inter Milan.

Pochettino will Have To Find Goals if His Tenure is to Succeed

Mauricio Pochettino, the incoming Chelsea manager, will have to seek elsewhere for attacking targets this summer in order to bolster the Blues’ attack. The Blues have struggled for goals this season, netting just 36 in 35 matches, fewer than Leeds and Leicester, who are both in danger of relegation.

Romelu Lukaku is expected to return to Chelsea after his loan stint with Inter Milan, but his future is uncertain and the Blues are likely to continue to explore the market.

Harry Kane has been linked with a reconciliation with former manager Mauricio Pochettino, while Napoli’s Victor Osimhen and Brentford’s Ivan Toney are also rumored to be interested in joining Chelsea.

As for Chelsea’s current predicament, interim manager Frank Lampard has won just one of his first eight games in command, and on Sunday the Blues were held to a 2-2 draw by Nottingham Forest. Lampard stated after the game that Chelsea must progress.

“The second half was ours, control of the game was ours, obviously, in terms of possession, but in the first half we weren’t dynamic enough in the top end of the pitch,” Lampard said.

“Everything we spoke about at the start of the game, it was too slow,” he explained.

“Unfortunately, it seems to be intrinsic here at the minute where we play a lot of passes but they are not to break lines or to threaten the opposition in the top end of the pitch,” he added.

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