AC Milan sporting director Paolo Maldini said Chelsea target Rafael Leao is not non-transferable despite the club’s plan to keep their best players.

Earlier this month, reputable Italian journalist Gianluca di Marzio claimed that Chelsea have not given up on their pursuit of Leao despite Milan’s rejection last summer.

The Blues had an offer reportedly between €70million and €80m (£62.5-71.3m) for the 23-year-old turned down by the Serie A champions but could try again at a later date.

Maldini himself confirmed that Chelsea made an “official written offer”.

Leao is under contract at San Siro until 2024, and despite negotiations with Milan, has yet to commit to a new deal.

Maldini insisted that Milan are not under pressure to sell any of their player, including Leao, but also said that everyone has their price.

Photo by Claudio Villa/AC Milan via Getty Images

Maldini says Chelsea target Leao is not non-transferable

“Have I rejected offers for Leao and Theo Hernandez? I told some not to even show up…” the Milan chief said at the Trento sport festival (via Calciomercato).

“The problem is that then they come back, and then you have to decide what to do.

“In the context of the sustainability of the club, I repeat that we have the accounts in order, and we don’t need to sell anyone.

“We want to keep the strongest players, but today there are no more non-transferable players.”

Maldini went on to point out how the Premier League clubs have a clear financial advantage over their Serie A counterparts.

“The bottom-placed Premier League team has a bigger budget than ours, the gap has now become unsustainable,” he explained.

Calciomercato claims that a number of top clubs are interested in Leao, but Chelsea, alongside Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain, are leading the potential transfer race.

The Portugal international has already registered three goals and five assists from eight appearances for Milan this season.

Given what Chelsea were reportedly prepared to pay for the winger, it is safe to assume that he is one of the club’s main attacking targets

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A Chelsea fan who loves football statistics. Studied sports journalism at the University of Sunderland.