Man Utd to battle Arsenal and Chelsea for Brazilian World Cup starlet

Tom Hancock
Tom Hancock
  • 3 min read
Erik ten Hag, Man Utd, 2022/23
© ProShots

Manchester United are being linked with a move for prodigious Brazilian striker Marcos Leonardo, who is also said to be on the radar of a host of other Premier League clubs.

Arsenal and Chelsea are among the others reportedly keeping tabs on Leonardo – who has caught the eye at the ongoing U20 World Cup in Argentina.

With four goals, the 20-year-old – who has already made over 100 appearances for club side Santos – is the joint top scorer at the tournament, where Brazil beat Tunisia in the last 16 on Wednesday to set up a quarter-final against Israel this Saturday.

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Those four strikes – including a spectacular bicycle kick as Brazil thumped the Dominican Republic 6-0 en route to winning their group – have taken Leonardo’s total for his country’s U20 team to 13 goals in just 10 appearances.

According to the MailOnline, there is also interest in Leonardo from Newcastle and West Ham – with the latter having already tried to sign him in January and expected to make a fresh approach this summer.

Leonardo rose through the youth ranks of Santos – the iconic club where Brazilian legends Pele and Neymar first made a name for themselves – to make his first-team debut at the age of 17.

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Our in-house Expected Transfer Value (xTV) model rates Leonardo at €16.1m; his current contract with Santos runs until 2026.

Were he to make the switch to Old Trafford, Leonardo would take Man Utd’s Brazilian contingent to four – joining Antony, Casemiro and Fred (as well as Alex Telles, should he return to United following his loan spell with Sevilla).

To date, Leonardo has scored 41 goals in 140 games for Santos – including eight in 21 outings this season, which began in January.