Amid reports linking AC Milan’s Rafael Leao with a move to Tottenham, we wanted to take a look at Sky Italia’s Matteo Barzaghi revelation last month that Inter Milan once pulled the plug on a deal to sign the forward because of Antonio Conte (Sky Sports Italia 03/09/22).

Leao’s stock has been steadily growing over the last couple of years and the versatile forward has hit new sights since the start of the season, with four goals and seven assists to his name so far in all competitions (Transfermarkt).

The Portuguese international’s future appears uncertain at the moment, with his current contract at the San Siro running until 2024.

Fabio Cordella, who has served as the sporting director for the likes of Budapest Honved FC and Royale Union Saint-Gilloise in the past, revealed this week that Leao is stalling on signing a new contract with the Rossoneri (Calciomercato.it).

He revealed that Tottenham were one of the clubs to offer the 23-year-old a new contract.

However, Barzaghi revealed last month that Conte once rejected the chance to sign Leao in the past.

The journalist claimed that the Nerazzurri had a deal lined up for the forward three years ago but they chose against signing the player as he was not deemed to suit Conte’s style of play.

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It is worth remembering that Conte’s preferred formation at Inter was a 3-5-2 rather than a 3-4-3. One can make the case that Leao would fit in better in the latter than the former. Besides, the 23-year-old is also now a much more complete player than he was three years ago.

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