Who is Rafael Leao? The Leeds United-linked €35 million striker also on Man Utd, Juventus and Napoli's radar

Leeds United are used to being linked with a host of intriguing signings during the summer transfer window, but things have gone up a gear since their promotion back to the Premier League, with a number of quality stars tipped for an Elland Road switch over the past few weeks.

Friday, 21st August 2020, 1:02 pm
(Photo by MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP via Getty Images)

The latest name touted to join Marcelo Bielsa's side is AC Milan striker Rafael Leao, with reports from Italy suggesting Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani has been in contract with the Serie A outfit to discuss a potential deal. Here's everything you need to know about the player.

The basics:

Leao is 21-years-old, and currently plays in Serie A with AC Milan. He joined the San Siro side for a whopping €35m last summer, just one season after joining Lille.

Sign up to our Leeds United newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

He is one of a number of players who controversially terminated their own contracts while on the books at Sporting CP, following a widely-publicised incident where players were attacked by a group of fans during training in 2018.

Who else is interested?

The likes of Juventus, Napoli, Chelsea, Wolves, Atletico Madrid and Manchester United have all been linked with him over the course of the summer so far.

His current market value, according to Transfermarkt, is £18m - but it's unclear how much Milan would want for the player, if indeed they'd be willing to sell a player just one year into a five-year contract.

Indeed, further reports from Italy suggest that the club are eager to hold onto the player, and continue to develop as the understudy to Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

What has he said about his future?

At the start of the month, when media speculation began to link him with an exit, the player took to Instagram following his side's final day 3-0 win over Cagliari.

He stated: "I finish my first season in this great club with a win, we will go more next season."

What's his style of play?

He's renowned for his exceptional pace, and is versatile enough to excel on either wing, as well as in his natural position as a striker.

His technical skill and poise on the ball make him an eye-catching footballer to watch, boasting bags of flair - he's certainly partial to a step-over or two - and, on his day, can provide a cool finish to boot.

What's his scoring record like?

In truth, not exactly prolific. With footballing colossus Ibrahimovic and Croatian ace Ante Rebic for company, Leao has only started 12 games this season, but has come off the bench on 19 occasions.

Across these 31 appearances, he's scored six goals - this works out at one goal per 232 minutes.

He netted an excellent effort in a 3-1 loss to Fiorentina back in September, where he sent four opposition defenders sprawling before tucking the ball home with aplomb.

Any international caps?

He's been capped extensively at various youth levels for Portugal, but is yet to feature for the senior side.