AC Milan are moving to tie up striker Rafael Leao amid interest from the likes of Manchester City in the forward.

That’s according to Calciomercato, who Pep Guardiola’s side are ‘in the lead’ for the striker and the Italian side want to ensure they can’t get him.

The website explains that Milan are ‘clinging’ on to the striker, who have become ‘increasingly indispensable’ in terms of goals, assists and reliability.

He’s turned things around at the club, with it only a few months ago that they were wondering whether he had a future there.

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Milan chiefs Maldini and Massara believe in the striker completely and have been ‘working hard’ for weeks with his agent Jorge Mendes to get him signed to a new deal.

That’s because they want to ‘protect him’ from possible ‘assaults’ from the big sides in Europe, particularly Manchester City, who are ‘in the lead’ for his signature.

Those negotiations are ‘running on the right track’, and Leao would sign a deal worth €4m.a year and extend his current contract from 2024 to 2026.

He is more than happy to stay and is waiting for the call from the club to head to their headquarters and sign the contract to continue his ‘adventure’ with the Rossoneri.

It seems, then, Manchester City have a lot of work on to do if they are to get anywhere near him, with Mendes, Milan and the player all seemingly against a move to the Etihad at this point.