There is no doubt that the AC Milan management will have had a smile on their face watching Rafael Leao in his World Cup debut, but they will also have had at least half a thought about his renewal.
Calciomercato.com write how Leao was only on the field for three minutes in place of Ruben Neves before he sent the ultimate message to head coach Fernando Santos by making it 3-1 with a lovely finish, and that wasn’t even the first goal Portugal scored while he was on.
Joao Felix, Bruno Fernandes and Bernardo Silva were the players chosen from minute one but Leao staked a claim to get the nod against Uruguay and South Korea as part of the starting XI after his precise finish having opened onto his right foot.
Paolo Maldini and Ricky Massara were convinced they could close the very complicated renewal issue before the end of 2022, but the World Cup is too tempting a showcase and the current request of €9m net per season to extend might not be enough.
There is also the annoying issue related to the fine to be paid to Sporting CP but the Milan management will meet again with his entourage after the tournament in Qatar, with the knowledge that if he stays in the limelight the situation could be even more difficult.