Date: 15th September 2022 at 10:47am
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Chelsea’s slow start to their Champions League campaign continued on Wednesday, as they slumped to a 1-1 against with RB Salzburg in Graham Potter’s first game in charge. 

The result follows The Blues’ 1-0 defeat to Dinamo Zagreb in Croatia last week, and means that the Premier League side currently sit bottom of Group E and will likely need to beat AC Milan twice in order to stand any chance of topping the group.

The Italian side, who drew with Salzburg in the opening week of fixtures, beat Zagreb 3-1 in the earlier kick-off on Wednesday, putting them top of the group.

Rafael Leao, who has been linked with Chelsea in the past, was particularly impressive for the Serie A champions, winning a penalty for Milan’s first goal and then providing the assist for their second.

Chelsea reportedly showed an interest in the player over the summer, but they may now face competition from Premier League rivals Manchester City for the forward’s signature, as per Calciomercato via TeamTalk.

Leao has started the new season in fine form

The Portugal international has a release clause included in his contract that is believed to be worth around £130 million and, while City are one of the world’s richest teams, that figure would see Leao become the club’s most expensive ever signing if they were to splash out on him.

City have recently signed both Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez to their already star-studded squad, but the Premier League champions are always on the lookout for new talent and won’t yet rule out a move for the player.

Chelsea’s interest over the summer is believed to have occurred as Thomas Tuchel and Todd Boehly searched for attacking reinforcements following the departures of Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner, and The Blues lodged a £69 million offer for the player that was rejected, according to Duncan Castles.

Leao, 23, scored 14 goals and provided 12 assists across all competitions last term, and was awarded the Serie A player of the year award for his efforts.

He has started this season in similarly spectacular fashion, scoring three goals and registering six assists in eight games for AC, who remain unbeaten so far in both the league and the Champions League.

The player’s current contract runs until the summer of 2024, but Fabrizio Romano recently suggested that talks between the two parties are continuing as the Italian side look to keep hold of one of their star players.

In total, Leao has scored 30 goals and provided 27 assists in 123 matches for the Italian side, since joining from Lille in 2019.

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