Reece James receives another public message from Rafael Leao as Chelsea transfer rumors persist.

Rafael Leao and Reece James have rekindled their long-standing friendship as a result of the Chelsea defender’s birthday celebration yesterday.

On Thursday, James turned 23. Since then, he has received messages from friends, colleagues, critics, and rivals.

One of those who welcomed the full-most back’s recent year on earth was a man he had recently appeared to grow very fond of.

Happy birthday, bro, more life, Leao captioned a photo of the pair competing against one another in an Instagram story.

Reece James and Rafael Leao

AC Milan’s menacing winger and James clearly share a great respect for one another.

The Portugal international was recently rated as one of the toughest opponents in his career by a Chelsea academy graduate.

In their previous meeting this year, Graham Potter’s team defeated Milan twice in the Champions League group stage.

In both games, James and Leao faced up directly against one another, with Leao being used on the left side of Stefano Pioli’s front line.

Todd Boehly apparently wants to make their encounter into an on-field alliance.

Leao is reportedly on Boehly’s radar as he looks to strengthen Potter’s struggling offensive pack.

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There aren’t many young, effective, free-firing attackers around right now who are more intriguing than Milan’s number 17.