Leao’s current contract will expire in 18 months.
According to transfer insider Dean Jones, Chelsea will find it difficult to lure Rafael Leao to Stamford Bridge as there is a ‘big chance’ that the AC Milan star’s value and status will soar during the World Cup.
He has been included in the Portugal squad for the World Cup 2022, which gets underway in Qatar later this week.
According to Italian media outlet Calciomercato, AC Milan have struggled to tie Leao down to a new contract and are unwilling to meet the demands of his representatives.
The report adds that AC Milan will continue to hold discussions over fresh terms and, amid uncertainty over Portugal international’s future. They will not accept offers worth less than £88million in January.
Leao’s current contract will expire in 18 months and this contract includes a £132million release clause.
Jones believes the Blues may have made a mistake by failing to sign Leao during the summer. The journalist feels that Chelsea have been keeping a close eye on the 23-year-old’s progress for a sustained period.
Jones told GIVEMESPORT: “The problem here is that they’ve already done all their scouting on Rafael Leao.
“They know what a good player he is and they know he’s had his breakthrough to becoming a superstar, but they haven’t actually signed him.
“Now, he goes to the World Cup and there’s a big chance that his value and status grows during this tournament.”