Chelsea are seriously considering a mammoth £127 million deal to sign AC Milan star Rafael Leao, according to reports in Italy.
The Portugal winger was one of the key men behind the Rossoneri’s first Serie A title in 11 years last season, scoring 11 goals and winning the league’s Player of the Year award.
His form hasn’t gone unnoticed, as Milan-based newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport reports that the Blues are weighing up a nine-figure bid for the 23-year-old.
The front page of the famous pink newspaper on Thursday reads “Leao, pressure at 120”, in reference to a potential €120m bid from Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea owner Todd Boehly and manager Thomas Tuchel have placed Leao’s name high on their shortlist of attacking targets, which also features the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Anthony Gordon.
The report says the only contact made so far has been with Leao’s agent Jorge Mendes, but any deal would be hugely complicated.
Milan would demand a €120m (£101m) fee for the winger, but the paper claims that the total cost could rise to around €150m (£127m).
That is because of a €16.5m payment Leao owes to former employers Sporting for terminating his contract there, and a 15% sell-on fee that would be owed to Leao's last club Lille.
Chelsea have already spent more than any other Premier League side this summer, splashing out £177.3m on Raheem Sterling, Kalidou Koulibaly, Marc Cucurella, Carney Chukwuemeka and Cesare Casadei.
But they remain a bit short up front, as their start to the 2022/23 campaign has underlined.
Tuchel’s side have scored three goals in three Premier League games so far, coming from two defenders – Koulibaly and Reece James – and penalty taker Jorginho.
They were beaten 3-0 by Leeds United last weekend, and face Leicester at home next on Saturday.
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