AC Milan 'will move' for Pulisic or Ziyech if Leao leaves the club

AC Milan are ‘set to make a move’ for Christian Pulisic or Hakim Ziyech if Rafael Leao leaves the club, as £127m-rated forward is ‘yet to agree a new deal’ with the Italian giants

  • AC Milan forward Rafael Leao has been linked with a move away from the club
  • If he leaves, the Italian side ‘have eyed up Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic’
  • Leao has a £127m release clause but is yet to agree a new contract in Milan
  • Both Pulisic and Ziyech have struggled for regular game time at Stamford Bridge 

AC Milan will make a move for one of Chelsea’s out-of-favour duo Christian Pulisic or Hakim Ziyech if star forward Rafael Leao leaves the club, according to reports.

Portuguese attacker Leao has emerged as one of the most exciting young strikers in Europe and has attracted the interest of several clubs.

The 23-year-old scored 11 goals and added 10 assists in Serie A last year, playing a key role in AC Milan winning their first Scudetto since 2010-11.

AC Milan and Portugal attacker Rafael Leao has been linked with several European clubs

He has already been involved in nine goals across eight games so far this season and has also established himself as an important member of the Portugal team ahead of this winter’s World Cup in Qatar, racking up 11 caps. 

Chelsea reportedly made a move for Leao this summer and with a £127million release clause, the forward has also attracted interest from Manchester City.

And, according to Gazzetta Dello Sport, Milan are desperate to agree a new deal with Leao but the two parties are currently unable to agree fresh terms.

The report states that Leao wants £6.2m per year but the Rossoneri are only willing to offer the Portuguese star £5.3m plus add-ons. His current deal expires in the summer of 2024.

If Leao does leave Milan, they are reportedly keen on making a move for Hakim Ziyech

If they are unable to extend his deal, Milan would be forced into selling their prized asset and Pulisic and Ziyech are two names reportedly on their list to replace him.

Ziyech scored 49 times and added 81 assists during a four-year-spell with Ajax which convinced Chelsea to spend £33m on the attacking midfielder in 2020.

But his time at Stamford Bridge has not proved to be as successful, with the Moroccan star keen to leave the club this summer after failing to nail down a regular spot in former boss Thomas Tuchel’s starting XI. 

He was linked with a return to Ajax but the Dutch club baulked at Chelsea’s asking price and Ziyech now has a fresh start under Graham Potter – but he has played just four times this season.

Fellow Chelsea forward Christian Pulisic is another name said to be of interest to the Rossoneri

The Moroccan star clearly has talent but has struggled to show any semblance of consistency during his time at Stamford Bridge, scoring just 14 goals and adding 10 assists in 87 games.

Pulisic meanwhile was also keen on an exit during the summer, with concerns about his playing time ahead of the Qatar World Cup this winter.  

The American joined the Blues back in 2019 for £57m from Borussia Dortmund and, like Ziyech, has shown signs of his talent, but has struggled for consistency at Stamford Bridge. 

He has made just 73 starts during his three full seasons at the club and has often been hampered by injuries.  

The American also hit the headlines earlier this season after it was revealed his dad liked tweets criticising former boss Tuchel, along with team-mates Mason Mount and Kai Havertz after a dismal defeat to Leeds, further increasing speculation over his future.

Chelsea return to action this weekend as they travel to Selhurst Park to face Crystal Palace in Potter’s first Premier League match in charge of the club.

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