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AC Milan shortlist Zaniolo as possible Leao replacement

AC Milan shortlist Zaniolo as possible Leao replacement

AC Milan are facing a fight to keep Rafael Leao and have begun shortlisting possible replacements in case the Portugal international leaves the club.

According to MilanNews, the Serie A reigning champions have added AS Roma forward Nicolo Zaniolo to their list of potential targets.

Milan are torn between reinforcing their squad with new arrivals and keeping their best players, but despite Ricky Massara’s optimism, Leao seems no closer to signing a new deal.

The 23-year-old is yet to extend his current deal with the Rossoneri amid interest from Premier League duo Chelsea and Manchester City.

Both English clubs are ready to slug it out for the Portuguese forward next summer. They are monitoring his development at the San Siro, with Milan unwilling to sell in January.

Zaniolo has impressed the Milan hierarchy so much that they are ready to swoop in for his signature if Leao’s contract situation proves too difficult.

The Rossoneri’s interest in Zaniolo dates back to last season. The club directors believe his technical skills will make him a perfect addition to the squad as they look to build a young and successful team in the future.

Zaniolo and Roma have also reached a stalemate in the contract negotiations with the player’s current deal set to expire in 2024. But the Giallorossi will not entertain any offers below their €60 million valuation.

Roma believe they can convince him to commit his future to the club, but they could be forced to lower their asking price to avoid losing him for free, and Milan could take advantage.

Milan have also shortlisted Real Madrid’s Marco Asensio, Chelsea’s Hakim Zyech and RB Salzburg’s Noah Okafor as possible targets.

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