Rafael Leao sends another public message to Reece James

Rafael Leao and Reece James have relit their ongoing relationship thanks to the Chelsea defender celebrating his birthday yesterday.

James turned 23 on Thursday, and was washed with messages from teammates, pundits and rivals alike.

One of those who greeted the full-back’s latest year on earth was a man he’s seemingly grown rather found of recently.

Leao uploaded a story onto his Instagram, with a picture of the pair playing against each other and the caption: ‘Happy birthday bro, more life’.

Reece James and Rafael Leao

AC Milan’s menacing winger and James clearly share a great respect for one another.

Photo by Nderim Kaceli/LiveMedia/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Chelsea’s academy graduate recently labelled the Portugal international as one of the toughest player’s he’s ever faced in his career.

The two encountered each other earlier this season, as Graham Potter’s side managed to defeat Milan twice in the Champions’ League group stage.

James and Leao were direct opponents in the both matches, with the latter deployed on the left of Stefano Pioli’s front line.

It was a match up that Todd Boehly reportedly wants to turn into an on-field partnership.

Boehly is apparently considering a move for Leao, as he aims to improve Potter’s faltering attacking pack.

In terms of young, useful, free-firing forwards around at the moment, there aren’t many more tantalising than Milan’s number 17.

Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

He has already contributed 16 goals for the Italian’s so far this term, and has also scored twice at the World Cup.

This is considerably more than anybody involved with Stamford Bridge in 2022/23.

Reece, it’s time for you to do some more networking.

"Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produced regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League. Nathaniel is a full-time writer for the Chelsea Chronicle, and was formerly their social media man. His footballing career reached the sparkling heights of winning the Under-13s Bloxham Tournament in 2011."