Chelsea reportedly offered two players in exchange for AC Milan forward Rafael Leao. However, the Italian giants were not interested and rejected the deal.
As per a report in The Athletic, Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech were offered to AC Milan last summer as Chelsea looked to seal a deal for Leao. They valued the players at €100 million and believed that the Italian side would accept it.
However, the Italians were not interested in any player exchange and wanted €150 million for their star player. Leao was stalling the new contract, and the Blues believed they could get a deal done.
Chelsea continued their search of a wide forward in the January window. They signed Mykhailo Mudryk from Shakhtar Donetsk but maintained their interest in the Portuguese star, who they see as a striker.
The report adds that the Blues could make another move in the summer, but will have to activate the €175 million release clause.
AC Milan get Chelsea star to stay at San Siro
AC Milan were confident of keeping Rafael Leao and have managed to convince him to sign an extension. The forward has reportedly penned a new five-year contract at San Siro and the club are close to making it official.
Speaking to the media earlier this season, Milan technical director Paolo Maldini confirmed that the Blues were interested in the forward but did not make a formal bid. He said via ESPN:
"Rafa knows that to become stronger than now the solution is to stay with us. Chelsea's officially written offer did not arrive but on an informal level it did. Of course, it was rejected."
Leao has now reportedly taken the advice of teammate Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who said in his interview on Sky Sports:
"I advise him to sign a new deal and stay at Milan. I see Rafa very happy here. (Here we would) have the chance to improve again; he feels good at Milan with this group. He had a fantastic year; he won the best player in the league award. Then the contract, other clubs looking for you, the World Cup and all the rest. But he has to stay focused and play football. Everything the rest is resolved; he just has to think about playing."
Manchester City and Arsenal were also interested in Leao when he had stalled his contract talks.