Chelsea in Rafael Leao transfer blow as PSG set to swoop for AC Milan star if Lionel Messi quits this summer | The Sun

PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN have identified AC Milan star Rafael Leao as a potential replacement for Lionel Messi, according to reports.

That poses as a significant blow for Chelsea, who have also been keeping tabs on the Portugal ace ahead of the summer transfer window.

According to Calciomercato, PSG have a "serious" interest in the winger and are willing to match his £132million release clause.

The winger's deal with Milan runs out next year and technical director Paolo Maldini is hoping to finalise an extension soon.

However, negotiations between the 23-year-old and the Rossoneri may drag until the end of the season.

In the meantime, PSG executive Luis Campos is keeping tabs on Leao as he sees him as the ideal candidate to succeed Messi in Christophe Galtier's frontline.

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Leao, though, remains focused on the reigning Italian champions but is not "completely indifferent".

Chelsea are also monitoring the Portuguese star's situation as they are looking to rebuild in the summer after a turbulent first season under new owner Todd Boehly.

Messi's contract runs out in June and he appears likely to leave amid a hapless two-year stint in Paris.

The star forward was signed in 2021 after he rolled credits on his glittering 17-year stint at Barcelona to lead the Parisians to Champions League glory.

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However, the Argentina captain has failed that mission with PSG crashing out in the last 16 in the last two years.

The 35-year-old has been linked with a dramatic return to Barca despite the club's financial woes.

Messi's former Argentina team-mate Sergio Aguero is confident he will go back and retire at the Nou Camp.

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