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Newcastle United, Paris Saint-Germain ‘handed Rafael Leao transfer boost’

Newcastle United and Paris Saint-Germain receive a boost in their pursuit of AC Milan forward Rafael Leao, according to a report.

Newcastle United and Paris Saint-Germain have received a boost in their pursuit of AC Milan forward Rafael Leao, according to a report.

Both clubs are believed to be keen to bolster their attacking options ahead of the 2024-25 campaign, and Leao has recently emerged as one of their primary summer targets.

Leao has developed into a star player for Milan since joining the club from Lille in August 2019, scoring 49 goals and providing 44 assists in 190 appearances across all competitions.

The Portugal international recorded 11 goals and 10 assists in 34 Serie A games to help Milan win the 2021-22 title, and he was subsequently named the league’s Player of the Year.

Leao then contributed with 16 goals and 15 assists in 48 appearances last season as the Rossoneri finished fourth in Serie A as well as reached the Champions League semi-finals, and he has since chipped in with six goals and eight assists in 26 matches in the current campaign.

AC Milan's Rafael Leao celebrates scoring their first goal on November 7, 2023

© Reuters

Last summer, Milan’s No.10 appeared to end speculation over potential exit from the club when he committed his future to the Italian giants by penning a new five-year contract until the summer of 2028.

However, according to Foot Mercato, Leao now feels he has reached “the end of a cycle” at Milan and would be open to a departure from San Siro this summer.

Newcastle seemingly have an edge over PSG in the race for Leao’s signature, as the report adds that the forward is targeting a move to either the Premier League or La Liga over a return to Ligue 1.

However, it is claimed that PSG could tempt Leao with a substantial financial package, especially if Real Madrid-linked Kylian Mbappe were to leave this summer, something Newcastle may struggle to compete with amid their financial difficulties.

Juventus' Bremer in action with AC Milan's Rafael Leao on October 22, 2023© Reuters

Newcastle are currently working within the constraints of the Premier League’s Profit and Sustainability Rules, which prevented them from entering the winter-window market.

Eddie Howe‘s side have been tipped to sell some of their star players ahead of the new season to balance their books and generate funds to spend on new recruits, with Leao being one name high on their radar.

As for PSG, the aforementioned rumours of all-time leading goalscorer Mbappe leaving the club for free this summer when his contract expires has led to speculation over who could replace the Frenchman.

Leao is one name said to be admired by PSG sporting director Luis Campos, who previously recruited the Portuguese to Lille in 2018 during his time with the Ligue 1 club.

The likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United have also been linked with Leao, who is expected to play for Milan in Sunday’s Serie A clash with reigning champions Napoli.

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