An update has emerged on Newcastle United’s pursuit of AC Milan forward Rafael Leao…
Italian journalist Giovanni Capuano has relayed a report from Repubblica that names the Magpies as one of the teams plotting a bid to sign the Portuguese international, with PIF looking to snap him up.
Ligue 1 giants PSG are also said to be keen on the attacker, who is said to be being courted by ‘half of Europe’ heading into the summer window.
Milan reportedly want €70m (£59m) for the 22-year-old this summer and the Toon must pay it as the Magpies’ head coach needs him badly.
The gem is a versatile, quality, young player who would solve a big problem for Howe next season. Newcastle lack players with the ability to put the ball in the back of the net on a consistent basis and Leao has proven that he can do exactly that.
In the Premier League this season, Callum Wilson (six) and Allan Saint-Maximin (five) are the only players with more than four goals to their name. This shows that the club need more goalscorers to bolster their attack in order to push up the table next term.
Meanwhile, Leao, who can play out wide on the left and through the middle, has scored ten goals and provided four assists in the Serie A for Milan. This comes after he produced 12 strikes and assists in 22 starts in 2020/21, showing that he can deliver quality in the final third on a regular basis at the top level.
The attacker’s former coach at Sporting, Tiago Fernandes, previously showered him with praise as he compared him to a former Brazil star. He said:
“Rafael is a No 9, he’s almost always played as one. I’d say that he reminds me of ‘Fenomeno’ Ronaldo for his pace, technique and the quality of his finishing.
“Perhaps he still has to improve in the air, but I want to tell the Rossoneri fans that Leao is a champion who can decide a game by himself.
“He certainly has the talent to play for Real Madrid, Barcelona and all the best clubs in Europe.”
These quotes highlight his potential as a player and this means that Howe can work with him on the training pitch to develop him into an even better performer for Newcastle. His statistics for Milan suggest that he would already be an upgrade on what the Toon currently have in the final third, with his scope for development adding another reason why the ex-Cherries coach needs him at St. James’ Park.