Newcastle United have “no chance” of signing Rafael Leao this summer, according to transfer insider DeanJones.
There has been talk about the Magpies being interested in the AC Milan winger, but Jones says their lack of Champions League football makes a deal impossible.
What is the latest news involving Leao?
Italian outlet La Repubblica recently claimed that both Newcastle and Paris Saint-Germain are prepared to quadruple Leao’s wages as they look to lure the Portugal international away from the San Siro.
While the above may seem like a desperate plot, it comes as no surprise after the season Leao had at Milan.
He played a pivotal role in the Italian giants winning their first Serie A title in 11 years, scoring 11 goals in 34 appearances for Stefano Pioli’s men.
Ultimately, he is not a player Pioli will want to lose, while the player himself may need some convincing to leave given how settled he looks at the San Siro.
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What has Jones said about Leao and Newcastle?
While Jones admires Newcastle’s ambition, he thinks Leao is an unrealistic target for PIF and the club right now.
Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, the journalist said: “Rafael Leao became a superstar at AC Milan last season, and I’m being told there’s no chance he steps down to a club outside the Champions League any time soon.
“Milan won’t want to lose this guy; he is awesome. It’s a nice one for Newcastle to dream about, but that’s all it is for now.”
Should Newcastle give up on signing Leao?
At this moment in time, Leao does look out of Newcastle’s reach, but you could not blame them for continuing their pursuit of the £63m-rated 23-year-old.
As per FBref, over the last year, he has ranked in the 90th percentile for progressive carries and the 96th for dribbling completed among attacking midfielders and wingers, showing just how difficult he can be to contain.
He has also ranked in the 89th percentile for touches in the penalty area, so the former Sporting Lisbon man is an attacker who loves to get inside of the box.
Speaking about Leao back in 2019, his ex-youth coach Tiago Fernandes told TUTTOmercatoWEB (via Football Italia): “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.”
All in all, it is probably not wise for Newcastle to spend too much time chasing a player who they are unlikely to sign, but an individual of Leao’s quality is not someone you should give up on so easily.
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