Liverpool have lined up Rafa Leao as Mohamed Salah’s potential successor at Anfield, but they face competition from Real Madrid for the Portuguese’s signature according to reports in Spain.
Liverpool managed to hold onto Salah this summer despite significant interest from Saudi Arabia, with Al-Ittihad reportedly having a £150 million (€172m) offer turned down.
However, Reds legend Robbie Fowler – now based in Saudi Arabia – is one of a number of observers to suggest that it is only a matter of time before Salah ends up in the Saudi Pro League – indeed, as one of the faces of it.
READ: Liverpool star Mohamed Salah was ‘ready to go’ and ACCEPT Saudi offer
Leao has been identified as a potential replacement. Seven years the Egyptian’s junior, the Portuguese has racked up 30 goals and 27 assists in 89 games across his last two seasons with Milan, but his form has attracted interest from beyond just Liverpool.
Rafael Leao’s new AC Milan contract includes a MASSIVE release clause 💰 pic.twitter.com/5QhM9o9iLq
— Football Transfers (@Transfersdotcom) June 2, 2023
Leao ‘fundamental’ for Milan
“Real Madrid and Liverpool lead the chase for the talented AC Milan attacker,” reports Fichajes’ Javier Parra Pena. “Both clubs have scouted the versatile attacker, who has speed and goalscoring ability…
“Milan have made it clear that they consider Leao fundamental to their project, extending his contract until 2028. In addition, they have established an asking price for the player around €150 million.”
READ: Rafael Leao’s ASTRONOMICAL release clause
Leao’s new five-year contract made him the second highest paid player at the San Siro on €6.4m a season – €600,000 less than former Arsenal man Ismael Bennacer – although neither Liverpool nor Real would be daunted by bettering those terms.
Leao has a highest xTV of €70m per FootballTransfers’ in-house algorithm, so Milan’s reported asking price is more than twice what the winger might be worth, but given the length of his contract – and undoubted talent – they could dig their heels in.