Liverpool to 'fight' Real Madrid for €150m-rated Rafael Leao

Liverpool are interested in AC Milan forward Rafael Leao, according to one report.

The 24-year-old Portuguese star is one of the shining lights of Serie A, having joined Milan from Lille in 2019.

Leao has scored 45 times in all competitions for Milan since his debut and was instrumental in the club's Scudetto win in 2021/21 – earning the Serie A Footballer of the Year award.

According to Spanish transfer rumours site Fichajes, Liverpool and Real Madrid are 'leading the competition' in the race for Leao, with both clubs sending scouts to watch the forward.

However, the report claims that Milan do not want to sell and are in a strong position, having extended their star man's contract until 2028 as recently as this summer.

It is said that it would take an offer of €150m (£130m) to convince Milan into a deal.

Leao's clear talent aside, there are plenty of reasons to be skeptical of this one – not least Fichajes' poor reputation for credibility.

That aside, though, there are also question marks over the Milan star's fit in Liverpool plans.

Although versatile, Leao typically plays off the left for Milan, an area in which Jurgen Klopp's side are already almost too well-stocked – with Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota, Cody Gakpo and even Darwin Nuñez all capable on that flank.

It seems more likely that future Liverpool attacking targets will be players who are already established as comfortable on the right, with succession planning surely under way for Mohamed Salah.

READ MORE: How will Liverpool replace Mohamed Salah when the time comes?

The 31-year-old Egyptian has less than two years to run on his £350k-a-week Liverpool contract, while it is expected that the Saudi Pro League will resume efforts to lure him to the Middle East in the upcoming transfer windows.

Meanwhile, other reports in Spain have highlighted the Reds' supposed interest in Nico Williams. The 21-year-old Athletic Club star's current contract expires next summer, with Liverpool apparently keeping an eye on the situation.

Anfield Watch understands that Liverpool's next big transfer priority is the strengthening the defence, with Piero Hincapie (Leverkusen) and Yukinari Sugawara (AZ) among those being looked at.

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