Paolo Maldini admits Milan missed Rafael Leao’s extension deadline

Milan coach Paolo Maldini has admitted that the renewal of Rafael Leao’s contract, which is required before his departure for the World Cup, is “not possible”.

Milan officials publicly expressed optimism about renewing Leao’s deal before the Serie A season was suspended, but, as such 90 minutes revealed earlier this weekChelsea’s World Cup goal left without a deal.

Sources confirmed this Milan Willing to make Leao the highest earner in Serie A to fend off interest in him Chelseabut even such an offer did not bring any results for the Rossoneri.

“We were talking about this [contract extension] For months, if not years,” Maldini said Sky Sport Italia.

“We will meet at the right moment and make a decision. The idea was to close [the deal] Before the World Cup, especially with the players participating in the competition, Liao in this case. It was impossible.”

Chelsea are watching Leao’s contract negotiations with an incredibly keen eye. The Blues are understood to be confident they can lure Leao, who has 18 months left on his current deal to run, to Stamford Bridge in 2023.

Co-owner Todd Boyle was poised to make a bid for Leao in January, but Milan made it clear they would not enjoy leaving the 23-year-old mid-season.

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