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Chelsea must sign Aubameyang upgrade in Leao

Chelsea are heating up their high-speed chase of a deal for AC Milan’s Rafael Leao, with the noise surrounding interest before the 2022 World Cup in Qatar now only amplified by the player’s escapades for Portugal.

Indeed, TuttoMercatoWeb reported last month that Blues boss Graham Potter wanted to start his reign at the club with a swoop for the 23-year-old, who had already been a summer target, as per The Times.

There had been murmurings that Milan were mulling over a cash-plus-player deal that included Hakim Ziyech, a long-time target of the Serie A champions, but transfer guru Fabrizio Romano dispelled such notions in his column for CaughtOffside.

And with Leao reportedly regarded at €100m (£86m) by the Rossoneri, a deal would be nothing short of lucrative, if Chelsea were to plunge headfirst and secure the talented ace’s signature. 

It may well be worth it, however, and with the west London outfit no strangers to spending big on touted targets, a deal may well be forged in the coming months.

Should the plans fall into place, Chelsea could ditch 33-year-old Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who has made a steady start to life at Stamford Bridge after joining from FC Barcelona in the summer.

The Gabonese ace has made 13 appearances for the club thus far, scoring just three goals and making one assist, and while he has provided a temporary solution to the departure of Romelu Lukaku, a signing of world-class calibre is needed if Chelsea are to return to prominence.

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Cesc Fabregas in action for Chelsea

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Leao, a decade Aubameyang’s junior, has netted seven goals and provided nine assists in 20 outings for the Italian outfit, illustrating what would be a profound improvement on Potter’s offensive department, should a deal cross the line.

And for Portugal, at the World Cup, the “superstar” has scored two goals in four matches, despite playing an average of 17 minutes per game, as the nation soars into the quarter-finals, with the monumental 6-1 round-of-16 fixture being iced with a stunning finish by the Milan hitman in the dying embers.

As per Sofascore, Leao scored from just four touches during his eight minute cameo, impressing with his movement and presence on the frontal proceedings.

With the 15-cap gem firing on all cylinders for club and country, Chelsea must not think twice about snapping up the dynamic forward, and with interest arising from elsewhere, including Premier League rival Manchester United, a swift move must take place, cementing the vitality of the frontline under Potter’s tutelage.