Chelsea can complete £150m Rafael Leao dream transfer with new FFP workaround

Rafael Leao
-Credit: (Image: Joao Rico)

Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Olivier Giroud, Christian Pulisic and Fikayo Tomori. What do these four players have in common? They have all left Chelsea to join AC Milan in the last few years.

The two teams share a positive relationship when it comes to potential transfer dealings between players. 12 months after Pulisic and Loftus-Cheek moved to Italy, Milan are plotting another double raid.

Romelu Lukaku and Carney Chukwuemeka, two players at completely contrasting points in their Chelsea careers, have been strongly linked with a move to the San Siro. According to reports, both players could be part of a joint deal to join the Serie A outfit in a surprise move.

For Lukaku, a return to Italy makes sense after leading the line for both AS Roma and Inter. But for Chukwuemeka, the youngster only joined Chelsea in 2022 from Aston Villa and a move has never really seemed likely. The midfielder reportedly has a £40m release clause in his contract but understands there are currently no plans to let him leave the club on loan.

Lukaku is more likely to depart and La Gazzetta dello Sport has claimed that Milan have enquired about a summer move. Reports in the past have suggested that only the activation of his £38m release clause will be enough, meaning a combined fee of £78m would be enough to sign both Chukwuemeka and Lukaku.

So, where does that leave Chelsea? Well, with constant concerns over profit and sustainability rules (PSR), the Blues have no choice but to act smart in the window. Five players have already been signed this summer but a short window will open up this week for them to finally sign Rafael Leao.

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The Milan forward has been on Chelsea's radar for over two years now and has been a name linked with a move to Stamford Bridge in nearly every transfer window. This summer has been slightly different after he put pen to paper on a new deal in Italy, but fortunately, it includes a release clause.

Footmercato (via Football Italia) has suggested that clause sits at €175m (£148.2m) which would make him Chelsea's most expensive signing. However, the clause is payable in multiple installments meaning Todd Boehly has less pressure to cough up so much money.

Time limits do place pressure on any deal being completed. The report from France states that Leao's release clause can only be triggered from July 5 to July 15 every year until June 2028. That means that Chelsea have a narrow 10-day window to activate the clause or face having to directly negotiate with Milan.

Paris Saint-Germain are considering making their move for Leao to replace Kylian Mbappe. However, with Milan's interest in Lukaku and Chukwuemeka, there is an opportunity for both teams to negotiate and complete another deal between them.