Milan star Rafael speaks on Chelsea transfer news with a clear message

AC Milan star Rafael Leao reacts to Chelsea move with a clear message

Rafael Leao has distanced himself from speculation of a possible move to Chelsea in the summer, insisting he sees his future with AC Milan and is committed to his contract at the club.

The 24-year-old winger, widely regarded as one of the most exciting attacking talents in world football, has racked up four goals and seven assists for the Rossoneri in Serie A this season.

Enjoying his fifth year at the San Siro, Leao has well and truly settled into life in Milan following a 2019 switch from Lille and his performances in Italy have caught the attention of some of Europe’s elite teams, including Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona and Chelsea.

However, Leao is tied into a deal with Milan until 2028 and reports last month suggested the Portugal international had an eye-watering €175m (£150m) release clause – which would have to be paid in full by potential suitors to force a move.

But it appears a possible departure from Milan is not even an option for Leao for the time being, despite the seven-time European champions currently trailing bitter rivals Inter Milan by 13 points in Italy’s top flight.

‘It’s my home. I like everything. Shopping, fashion and even the weather because it’s similar to Portugal,’ Leao told Italian publication Il Corriere della Sera.

‘If you think it’s cold, try to go to Lille! And then food, I like everything about Italian cuisine. Pasta, risotto, fish…

‘My future is at Milan, I am here and I have four years left [on my contract].

‘Milan helped me when I was in a very difficult situation and they supported me. I won’t forget. I am loyal.

‘I was a kid when I arrived and I’ve grown up as a man and as a footballer. I want to win again, my head is here.’

Leao, who came through Sporting’s academy ranks as a youngster, says he is motivated by the ‘magic and joy’ of the game rather than statistics.

‘I love great goals, of course I’d like to score more, but I also make assists, I am a complete player,’ he added.

‘Today’s football is only about stats and I don’t like it. Football is magic and joy. People who only think about numbers make me angry.

‘People must be entertained so that I can have fun too. I am a fan of aesthetics and beauty. In football, fashion, music and love.

‘Critics always motivate me. Sometimes I get angry, but only if it’s not constructive,’ he continued.

‘I am sorry when they are done just to taunt me. Sometimes I ask myself, “Does this guy knows anything about football?”, and these things make me stronger anyway, I know where I can get.’

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