Milan director Paolo Maldini confirms that Rafael Leao wants to stay at the club and reveals they had all but signed Sven Botman. The Rossoneri were close to signing the Dutchman with a deal reportedly in place before he decided to join Newcastle. The Rossoneri were also able to see off attention from Chelsea to keep Leao at the club, something Maldini spoke about in his interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport:
Leao has a different situation which comes from his transfer to Lille. This is having an impact, interlocutors have often changed, but Rafa is grateful to us and I take into account what he says.
Rafa understands that the path for the next few years must be at Milan. He understands it and he says it. There will be a negotiation, and we know that strong players must be paid for their value. If the team improves further, he will have everything to do even more. Then, of course, nobody is unsellable, in any team in the world.
A new contract ageement? Yes, with him, but we have nothing to do with Sporting CP.
Ibra? When he renewed, we told him that he must feel like a footballer 100%. He is a little bit anxious because of retirement, but he must remain calm. Life has always smiled on him.”
Botman? To tell the truth, we tried to sign Botman. Had we signed him, we would have gotten an attacking midfielder on loan.
The idea was not to sign average footballers and sign exciting prospects. Charles is among them. We must wait for him, but don’t have many doubts.”