KEY POINTS

  • Wolverhampton Wanderers are being linked to a transfer swoop for AC Milan's Rafael Leao
  • Lazio has also set its sights on Leao and the club's new manager has been reaching out to his agent
  • Former Sporting CP coach Tiago Fernandes hailed the Portuguese as "better than Cristiano Ronaldo"

Another top flight club may be working on signing a highly-regarded AC Milan striker.

The Italian football club is said to be making certain changes in its roster ahead of the 2021-22 Serie A season. Though not really considered as a fringe player, Rafael Leao is among the several names being linked to a move away from San Siro.

As it stands, Premier League club Wolverhampton Wanderers are believed to be keeping tabs on Leao’s situation for quite some time now, and have finally made progress in their pursuit of the forward, Portuguese journalist and transfer insider Pedro Almeida reported.

According to Almeida, “contacts” between AC Milan and Wolverhampton have been “going on” for the potential transfer of Leao but the player is keen on staying with the Serie A side.

Moreover, the Rossoneri is open to selling either Leao or Jens Petter Hauge to the Wolves, Italian outlet Gazzetta dello Sport reported.

However, the Wolves would have to vie for Leao's signature as AC Milan's domestic league rival Lazio is also in the conversation. Sport Italia’s Alessandro Jacobone reports that newly appointed Lazio manager Maurizio Sarri is a huge admirer of Leao and has began tracking the striker.

Apart from the Wolves, Sarri has also been keeping in touch with Leao's representatives, particularly with his agent Jorge Mendes, the report added.

International Business Times could not independently verify this information.

AC Milan's Portuguese forward Rafael Leao has been on-form this season. AC Milan's Portuguese forward Rafael Leao has been on-form this season. Photo: AFP / ANDREAS SOLARO

Leao is naturally a forward but has been functioning well as a pacy winger for AC Milan. This past season, he bagged a total of seven goals in 37 matches for the Italian outfit across all competitions.

Before joining the Rossoneri, Leao first made his mark in Sporting CP and Lille, but it was with the former where he first learned his trade, under the tutelage of the club’s former manager Tiago Fernandes.

Weighing in on Leao’s potential transfer, Fernandes urged AC Milan not to let go of his former pupil, whom he described as a “potential champion.”

“Milan shouldn’t part ways with him [Leao], they have a potential champion in their hands,” Fernandes told Gazzetta dello Sport last month. “I have never seen someone like Leao. I trained him for the first time when he was 12.”

Indeed, Fernandes has long been dazzled by the 22-year-old’s seemingly brimming potential. In 2019, he boldly claimed that as a youngster, Leao was “better” than his fellow Sporting legend Cristiano Ronaldo.

“Rafael is the best player in the history of the Sporting Academy,” the coach told French outlet L’Equipe in 2019.  “As a youngster, he was better than Cristiano Ronaldo.”