Bewildering Milan, Leao stance revealed as Liverpool plan shock player-plus-cash offer

Jason Soutar
Liverpool duo Luis Diaz and Darwin Nunez after scoring a goal against Arsenal

Liverpool forward Luis Diaz is facing an uncertain future as Jurgen Klopp looks to once again shake up his attack, according to reports.

Diaz has been fantastic for the Reds since the Premier League giants hijacked Tottenham’s pursuit of the Colombian winger last January.

The 26-year-old played an incredible amount of football last season for both Liverpool and FC Porto, yet he rarely tasted defeat.

In 31 league matches, Diaz never lost, while he only lost one domestic cup game out of ten as Klopp’s side won the Carabao Cup and FA Cup.

After a stellar first half-season in England, Diaz hit the ground running in 2022-23, netting three in his opening eight Premier League appearances.

However, his last appearance came against Arsenal last October after he suffered a long-term knee injury in the 3-2 defeat at the Emirates.

Liverpool have definitely missed the Colombia international but are beginning to find their feet once again with Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez and Cody Gakpo leading the line.

Klopp has also been boosted by the returns of Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota, with the inevitable Diaz comeback meaning the German manager will soon have six top-class forwards to choose from.

Despite the fact Klopp has so many options and is likely to rotate a lot between now and the end of the season, it has been reported that they are interested in signing Rafael Leao.

Spanish outlet Fichajes reported last month that Liverpool would try to tempt AC Milan into a sale by offering them Diaz in exchange.

And now Calciomercato have reported the exact same thing. There is no smoke without fire…so they say.

My colleague said it before, and I will say it now. This seems extremely unlikely.

However, the report states that Klopp is eyeing a ‘real revolution’ in the summer transfer window amidst a ‘disappointing year’.

If Liverpool trigger Leao’s €160million release clause, it would be seen as a ‘sensational’ sale for Milan.

Paying that fee seems equally as unlikely, but it is claimed that the Reds ‘could try to snatch’ the Portuguese winger by ‘inserting’ Diaz in the transfer offer.

Diaz is apparently valued at €80m – meaning he is ‘partial compensation’ for the departure of Leao and Liverpool would have to offer a lot of money as well.

Amazingly, this is not the sort of offer Milan would entertain. The Rossoneri ‘would prefer’ cash only – a fee between €120m and €150m.

Why the Italian champions would not want a superb replacement, on top of a decent fee, is beyond belief; especially when Diaz is *probably* the better player.

Furthermore, Leao is out of contract in 2024 and has been locked in negotiations over an extension for quite some time.

The 23-year-old has 36 goals and 31 assists in 147 games for Milan and was key in their Serie A title win last term.

This season, Leao has 19 goal contributions in 32 matches across all competitions.

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