The Portugal international played a key role in AC Milan’s Serie A title success last season with 11 goals and eight assists, and continued his excellent form into the new campaign where he has four goals and seven assists in 11 Serie A and Champions League appearances . .
Potter has been reluctant to discuss which players Chelsea are interested in signing, but ahead of Tuesday’s clash at the San Siro he admitted his admiration for the Milan star.
“The player you mentioned is part of that team,” Potter told a news conference Monday. ‘You can see his quality and what he brings.
‘He is part of a strong team, a strong club and a strong set-up, and we respect that.’
AC Milan technical director Paolo Maldini revealed last month that Chelsea were trying to sign Leao in the summer transfer window.
‘We have already started talking to him. But not now, for a long time. Any renewal can be simple or complicated, the player’s will makes the difference because the club’s is there, Maldini told Sky Italy in September.
‘Renewal is an issue that we addressed many months ago.
‘Rafa knows that to become stronger than now, the solution is to stay with us. We are a young and growing team. He still has many things to learn, but we intend to do great things and grow with him.
‘Chelsea’s official written offer did not arrive, but on an informal level it did. Of course it was rejected’.
Leao joined AC Milan in 2019 from French side Lille after starting his career in Portugal with Sporting Lisbon.
Chelsea picked up their first Champions League win of the season against Milan last Wednesday, with both them and the Rossoneri taking four points from their opening three games.
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