Fabrizio Romano claimed Santos striker Marcos Leonardo will leave in 2024 but dismissed any imminent moves, especially to Arsenal.

Fabrizio Romano via Caught Offside insisted Marcos Leonardo will leave Santos in 2024, with chances of the striker moving in January very high. The Italian journalist also ruled out an imminent move to Arsenal or any other suitor but hinted at six or seven clubs being in the mix.

Marcos Leonardo has flourished well at Santos and has already attracted the attention of top clubs across Europe. During the season, the 20-year-old carried the club on his young shoulders and scored 21 goals across all competitions.

Yet, his goals could not save Santos from a historic relegation, which has scuppered the mood around the club. With their fate already sealed, the chances of Leonardo leaving them have grown, with a January exit looming large.

Many clubs have already earmarked the young Brazilian attacker to make an impact. Several English and Spanish clubs are in contention to sign him. Among those, Fabrizio Romano has already ruled out Real Madrid, but things could change in the coming period.

Santos might accept a bid close to €18-20 million for Leonardo, which seems decent compared to what some younger Brazilians are going for. The 20-year-old has made a significant mark on suitors with his goalscoring prowess, especially for clubs keen to sign a striker in January.

Arsenal have looked at signing him, as Mikel Arteta might consider a new striker in January if he can get other priority targets through the door. The Gunners had links with names like Ivan Toney and Victor Osimhen, but they may not have the budgets for such players.

Hence the idea of Leonardo may have appealed to Arteta and Edu Gaspar, with the latter holding good relations in Brazil. However, Romano has poured cold water on the Gunners’ prospect for now. He did not rule them out of the race, of which a reported six to seven clubs are part.

Romano said, “Marcos Leonardo will leave Santos in 2024 for sure, there’s no doubt and it’s not even about the club’s recent relegation; they already decided that months ago,”

“There are many links, every week Leonardo gets linked with five or six clubs but it’s still at the early stages with agents meeting clubs. There’s nothing concrete or close with Arsenal so far, despite speculation.”

With the Brazilian season now over, the chances of Leonardo moving to Europe are enormous. With Santos’ relegation, clubs might also look for a better deal, considering they can pressurise them over the player’s will to depart. Hence, Arsenal and others will keep their eyes open for the Brazilian attacker in the coming weeks.

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