‘Better than Cristiano Ronaldo’ – Jurgen klopp delivers a honest verdict on £45m Liverpool transfer target
Since it was first announced that Sadio Mané will most likely depart the club this summer, a slew of names have been linked with a move to Liverpool. Mané is expected to inform the club that he want to pursue a new challenge abroad after six years with the club.
Since then, a slew of contenders for Mané’s replacement have emerged. Rafael Leo, a forward for Milan, is one of them. Liverpool and a slew of other clubs have been linked with the 22-year-old Portuguese forward, who just played a key role in Milan’s first Scudetto in 11 years.
Since his arrival in Italy, Leo has been regarded as a rough diamond, a player with immense potential who makes the wrong decision at the crucial moment or lacks a finished product.
Those days, however, are no longer. He emerged as Milan’s key player in the title race, scoring seven goals in the second half of the season and particularly in the final five games, scoring or contributing in each of them as he turned on the flair.
Leo concluded the season in Serie A with 11 goals and 10 assists, causing many to take note of one of Portugal’s future best players.
Liverpool have been linked with him on several occasions, while Manchester City might ‘go crazy’ for him as a replacement for Raheem Sterling, according to Footmercato, while Real Madrid and PSG are also interested.
Transfermarkt has Leao valued at £45 million, although La Gazzetta dello Sport recently reported that Milan would be unlikely to accept anything less than €100 million (£85 million) for him.
Furthermore, the club’s sports director Paolo Maldini recently stated that Leo is a ‘untouchable’ when it comes to a possible exit, and that he is one of the cornerstones of the new and energetic Milan.
Milan also has no financial concerns and no financial motivation to sell one of its crown jewels, as the club is about to be taken over by RedBird. Should Liverpool make their interest in Leo known if he feels he has achieved everything he can with Milan after winning the Scudetto?
Leao still has a lot of potential that he hasn’t realized yet. Despite making significant progress this season under Stefano Pioli, he still has to work on his game. Jürgen Klopp would be ecstatic to have a player like Leo under his tutelage.
However, with Luis Daz now at the club, it’s unclear whether Leo would be a required acquisition, given he can’t play through the middle like Mané did halfway through the season.
Instead of adding someone like Leao, who is more of a winger, Liverpool would be better served by signing a No.9, or someone who can rotate between a No.10 and a No.9, like classic Roberto Firmino or Mané.
If Liverpool hadn’t bought Daz in January, a summer transfer for Leao would be a no-brainer. But, as things are, he’s probably unnecessary.
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