Chelsea snubbed by forward with £149m release clause who could revolutionise their attack

Mauricio Pochettino was reportedly eager to sign Rafael Leao in the summer (Image: GETTY)

Rafael Leao has dismissed the prospect of joining Chelsea in the summer by insisting that he remains fully committed to playing for AC Milan. Leao was said to have been admired by the Blues last summer, when he was coming off the back of a season in which he scored 16 goals in all competitions.

Leao helped to fire Milan to the Serie A title just 12 months earlier, with his prolific form at the San Siro leading to interest from across Europe. Chelsea were thought to have been among his biggest suitors in their search for a new striker to replace Romelu Lukaku, but the move never materialised and Leao ended up staying in Italy.

The Portuguese marksman is still thought to be a target for the Blues, who would need to match his release clause of £149million to stand any chance of snapping him up. It seems that Leao is not even considering the possibility of a move to Stamford Bridge at the end of the season, with the 24-year-old still enjoying life in Milan.

In an interview with Italian outlet Corriere della Sera, Leao said: “It’s my home. I like everything. Shopping, fashion and even the weather because it’s similar to Portugal. If you think it’s cold, try to go to Lille! And then food, I like everything about Italian cuisine. Pasta, risotto, fish.

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The Portuguese forward is not planning on leaving AC Milan any time soon (Image: GETTY)

“My future is at Milan, I am here and I have four years left [on my contract]. Milan helped me when I was in a very difficult situation and they supported me. I won’t forget. I am loyal. I was a kid when I arrived and I’ve grown up as a man and as a footballer. I want to win again, my head is here.”

Leao, who has scored just four league goals for Milan this season, went on to explain that he is motivated by the ‘magic and joy’ of the game rather than numbers in a firm response to his critics.

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Leao has only managed to score four league goals for Milan this season (Image: GETTY)

“I love great goals, of course I’d like to score more, but I also make assists, I am a complete player,” he said. “Today’s football is only about stats and I don’t like it. Football is magic and joy. People who only think about numbers make me angry.

“People must be entertained so that I can have fun too. I am a fan of aesthetics and beauty. In football, fashion, music and love. Critics always motivate me. Sometimes I get angry, but only if it’s not constructive. I am sorry when they are done just to taunt me.

“Sometimes I ask myself: ‘Does this guy know anything about football?’. These things make me stronger anyway. I know where I can get.”