Rafael Leao was Milan’s hero in the derby against Inter, and head coach Stefano Pioli says the Rossoneri wants to tie the in-demand forward to a new deal.
Leao scored twice and provided an assist for Olivier Giroud as the Serie A champions defeated their city rivals 3-2 in an entertaining clash at San Siro on Saturday.
It was a welcome performance for Milan supporters, who had seen their star linked with a move to Premier League big-spenders Chelsea on transfer deadline day.
However, the Blues were rebuffed in their attempts to strike a deal for a player who reportedly has a €150million release clause in his contract, which runs until June 2024.
Pioli said he was never fearful Leao would depart.
And he has now confirmed the plan is to tie the 23-year-old to a longer contract.
He told reporters:
“These are not things I can decide, but I believe the club wants to offer Leao a new deal soon. He is working at the best level.
“Rafa has a beautiful attitude and knows he has talent.
“Then for the contract, whoever has to do what he has to do.”
Giroud says he was always confident his Leao would stay with Milan, saying:
“I was not worried about him. I knew he would remain here.”
Pioli is sure there is plenty more to come from the Portugal international.
Speaking to DAZN, he said:
“To improve, you need talent and intelligence, so Leao has both.
“We gave him the time and freedom to make mistakes so he could learn.
“Naturally, every time we put him in one-on-one situations, he’s an essential weapon in our armoury.
“Rafa has body language that might confuse people, but I can assure you he knows his potential and is very eager to learn.”
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