AC Milan is reportedly ready to poach Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech from Chelsea if Rafael Leao leaves the club next year.
Portugal international Leao has attracted the attention of the Blues and other top clubs around Europe after playing a key role in Milan’s Serie A title triumph last season.
Leao scored 11 goals and set up 10 more in 34 league outings for Stefano Pioli’s side in 2021-22 and has opened the new campaign with three goals and six assists from eight appearances in all competitions.
Chelsea reportedly failed with a big-money approach for Leao late in the transfer window, and Graham Potter’s side are therefore being tipped to reignite their interest in 2023.
Manchester City are said to be ready to rival Chelsea for the ex-Lille man, but the Blues may already be at an advantage, with Gazzetta dello Sport claiming that Milan have identified two Chelsea attackers as possible replacements.
The report claims that Leao is holding out for a higher salary with any new contract – approximately £6.2m per year – but Milan’s highest offer so far has been £5.3m with add-ons.
As a result, Milan could be pressured into a sale in the coming months, and the Rossoneri are ready to move for either Pulisic or Ziyech as Leao’s replacement.
Ziyech was thought to have been in talks with Milan over the summer before staying put at Stamford Bridge, but he has only made four appearances for the Blues this season, including one Premier League start.
Meanwhile, USA international Pulisic has also featured in the starting lineup just once in the Premier League – making a further seven appearances as a substitute – and he is without a goal or assist this term.
As is the case with Leao, Pulisic is also due to become a free agent in 2024, but he recently hinted that he would be prepared to stay at Chelsea if he can enjoy a “fresh start” under Potter.