Monday, February 6, 2023

Maldini bullish on Rafael Leao and Bennacer contract extensions

SoccerNews in La Liga 12 Jan 2023

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Milan technical director Paolo Maldini is increasingly confident that the club can complete new deals for Rafael Leao and Ismael Bennacer.

Portugal international forward Rafael Leao has been linked with a host of top clubs, including Liverpool, Chelsea, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester City.

The 23-year-old is contracted until 2024 and Maldini revealed prior to Milan’s 1-0 Coppa Italia home loss to Torino that they were closing in on agreement on an extension, with the player keen to stay.

“We are talking, there are videocalls too and not just in-person meetings,” Maldini told Mediaset. “We will try to reach an agreement. It seems like both parties want to continue together and we will try to close a deal.

“We’ve been trying to do that for the last year and a half, but a lot happened in that time. The important thing is we want to extend and it seems as if the player wants to as well.

“This team was largely built on the transfer campaign of 2019 and practically all of those who arrived have extended their contracts. I have to say, all those who wanted to renew their deals have done so.”

Algerian defensive midfielder Bennacer, 25, is contracted with the Rossoneri until 2024 as well, but Maldini said they are within days of finalising an extension.

“Absolutely, I think we will in the next 24-36 hours,” he said.

The reigning Italian champions are currently third in Serie A, seven points behind leaders Napoli after 17 games.

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