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Man City: Cityzens interested in Rafael Leao

Man City: Cityzens interested in Rafael Leao -Manchester City News

Manchester City are keen on signing Rafael Leao from AC Milan amid uncertainty over his future, according to Foot Mercato journalist Santi Aouna

The lowdown

The Premier League champions have already kicked off their summer business with the £51.2m addition of Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund, but it seems that Pep Guardiola might want to bolster his attacking options even further.

Leao operated as a left winger for Milan last season but has actually played most of his games up to this point as a striker.

The 22-year-old is a key player for the Rossoneri, with Stefano Pioli selecting him for 34 out of 38 Serie A matches and four of their six Champions League games in the recently-concluded campaign.

Valued at £45m by Transfermarkt, Leao has just over two years to run on his contract at San Siro.

The latest

Aouna tweeted on Monday evening that Leao had ‘an extension offer on the table’ from the newly-crowned Serie A champions but wasn’t guaranteed to stay put at the San Siro.

‘Several clubs are interested’ in the Portuguese attacker, ‘including Man City’, who apparently ‘started talks a few weeks ago’ with Leao’s representative Jorge Mendes.

Mendes’ other clients include Ruben Dias, Bernardo Silva, Joao Cancelo and Ederson, so the Etihad Stadium club have experience of working with him previously.

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City fans, do you remember who scored your first goal of the 21/22 Premier League season?

The verdict

Leao won Serie A’s MVP award and it’s no surprise in light of his excellent headline numbers.

The five-cap Portugal international was directly involved in 26 goals across all competitions in 2021/22, scoring 14 goals and registering 12 assists.

Beyond those eye-catching figures, he’s also highly adept at running with the ball, ranking in the 90th percentile among positional peers in Europe’s top five leagues for progressive carries and the 96th percentile for dribbles completed (via FBRef). Furthermore, his presence in the 81st percentile for aerial duels won suggests that he can more than hold his own physically.

In terms of profile according to FBRef, he is similar to Riyad Mahrez, who found the net 24 times for Guardiola’s side this season.

Journalists have been raving about Leao, with Mina Rzouki describing him as ‘ridiculously brilliant’ and Maxi Angelo dubbing him ‘completely unstoppable’ and ‘truly magical’.

On that evidence, he could be a brilliant long-term investment for City if they bring him in.

In other news, read this big Aurelien Tchouameni claim involving City.

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