Manchester United have already strengthened their defence and midfield in the summer and the next job on Erik ten Hag’s hands is buying an elite goal-scorer.
While the initial plan was for the club to wait until the summer of next year before buying a striker, the acrimonious departure of Cristiano Ronaldo has hastened those plans.
But considering the club’s current financial status, it will not be easy for the club to splash the cash once again in January considering the over £200million splurge in the summer.
Leao is another United target
AC Milan forward Rafael Leao is said to be on the market and AC Milan will only consider selling their star asset for €100million amid mounting interest in the Portugal forward.
This was revealed by The Manchester Evening News, amid reports of the Serie A champions trying to get the Portugal international to sign a new contract.
Leao’s current deal expires in 2024 and technical director Paolo Maldini along with DoF Frederic Massara are trying to negotiate a new long-term contract with the 23-year-old.
One of the biggest regrets of Portugal’s tournament has been the criminally low usage of Rafael Leão. Been the best Portuguese attacker of the past year, led Milan to a Scudetto, played 83 minutes and still finished as Portugal’s second-top scorer with Bruno Fernandes. pic.twitter.com/Iu8QeauPcm
— Zach Lowy (@ZachLowy) December 11, 2022
There are complications in the form of a €20 million payment that needs to be paid by the player to his former club Sporting Lisbon and the fact that quite a few European heavyweights are after his signature.
According to Calciomercato, “The first offer delivered by Milan to Leão is 6 million euros per season. A figure that is certainly important but still considered far from the ideas of the entourage of the Portuguese international.
“That’s why Maldini and Massara are evaluating a raise of 7 million. A definitive decision will be made in the next few days but there is every intention of making a further effort to lock down the Rossoneri number 17.”
AC Milan trying to tie him down on a new deal
Chelsea are among the clubs which have been mentioned as possible suitors and the situation was exacerbated when the winger accidentally followed the club profile on Tik Tok.
That accidental follow and the subsequent backtracking got the rumour mill talking and Gazzetta dello Sport have reported on the same.
Leao is versatile and can play all across the front line. He can score goals which can be seen from his eight goals in 20 appearances for Milan this season and his two goals for Portugal at the World Cup in Qatar.
However, with an abundance of right-footed left wingers, whether a move for the expensive Leao is deemed necessary by United and Ten Hag remains to be seen.