Erik ten Hag Targets Affordable Transfer Deal for Upcoming Star Dubbed the ‘New Neymar’

Manchester United have re-entered the race to sign Santos wonderkid Marcos Leonardo, as per reports, after tracking the Brazilian earlier this year.

Leonardo is just 20 years old and he has already attracted attention from some of the biggest clubs in Europe, such as Arsenal and Chelsea.

The Gunners have been heavily pursuing the young Brazilian forward for some time, as exclusively reported by FootballTransfers in July.

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Sources have told us that Arsenal have been scouting Leonardo and the north London club are interested in adding to the Brazilian contingent at the club.

Chelsea were also reportedly keeping tabs on his progress at the U20 World Cup, in which he scored five goals in five games.

Furthermore, Lazio were close to signing Leonardo during the summer transfer window, but saw an offer of between €12-13 million turned down by Santos. In addition, West Ham tried to land him in January and Newcastle United have also been credited with interest.

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Now, Man Utd are ready to pursue the Santos starlet once again, having first been linked with a move back in May.

Marcos Leonardo, Santos
– Marcos Leonardo, Santos

Leonardo to Old Trafford?

Spanish news outlet Fichajes have reported that Erik ten Hag’s side are ready to bid at least €20m for Leonardo as they look to bolster their attacking options.

Rasmus Hojlund was Man Utd’s marquee summer addition thanks to his €75m move from Atalanta, but Ten Hag is looking to add another body to the forward line at Old Trafford.

Leonardo has been dubbed ‘the next Neymar’ in his homeland – not least for the fact he plays for Santos – and he is seen as one of Brazil’s most promising young talents.

Currently, the 20-year-old has an Expected Transfer Value (xTV) of €17.8m, which has fallen from a peak of €23.2m in June. Leonardo’s current contract at Santos doesn’t expire until 2026 after he signed an extension last year.

He has scored nine goals and provided two assists in 18 Brazilian Serie A matches this season.

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