Manchester United could outbid Euro giants in the race for Marcos Leonardo

Manchester United have reportedly entered the race to sign Santos attacker Marcos Leonardo and could outbid Italian suitors AS Roma to secure his services.

According to El Messaggero (via tuttomercatoweb), Manchester United are planning to hijack a deal for AS Roma’s reported target Marcos Leonardo from Brazilian side Santos and are ready to offer a significantly better financial offer than the Giallorossi.

Roma have been pursuing a move for the Santos striker for some time now, but they have now failed in their move for the player with the European summer transfer window closing last Friday itself.

The Brazilian outfit were willing to sell, and the Giallorossi had agreed to meet the asking price of €12 million plus €6 million in add-ons in early August. However, Santos later opposed the transfer as they battled to avoid relegation, having already sold other strikers at the club and changing the coach.

The Brazilian Serie A outfit decided it was too much of a gamble to lose their star man. Negotiations had continued, and Leonardo even refused to train with his teammates for several days in a bid to push through the move, but to no avail.

As a result, Roma postponed the signing of the Brazilian attacker until the January window and turned their focus towards other targets, landing Chelsea outcast Romelu Lukaku in a high-profile move. But Jose Mourinho’s side continued negotiations with Santos in an attempt to reach an agreement for Leonardo’s move to become official in January 2024.

 Embed from Getty Images

However, Roma “may not be the only club in the running” for Leonardo in the upcoming January transfer window. Mourinho’s former employers, Manchester United, are planning to swoop in and steal Leonardo from the Rome-based club.

The Premier League giants are keen on bringing in another striking option after loaning out Mason Greenwood, with Rasmus Hojlund the only natural centre-forward at the club currently.

At just 20 years old, Leonardo comes with immense talent and decent first-team experience. He is already approaching 50 senior goals for Santos, having made over 150 appearances for the club, while he also has 15 goals in just 13 games for the Brazilian Under-20s.

The report claims the Red Devils are ready to submit a higher bid than Roma’s, made up of a €20 million fixed fee plus €5 million in add-ons.

Santos are experiencing financial difficulties, and Leonardo’s sale could lighten their economic burden. Leonardo also wants to jump ship, and it remains to be seen whether Roma will finally be able to achieve their long-standing goal next year or if the Red Devils will leapfrog them in the Leonardo race next January.

Leave Comment


Welcome Back!

Login to your account below

Retrieve your password

Please enter your username or email address to reset your password.