EXCLUSIVE: Arsenal intensify Marcos Leonardo transfer talks

Steve Kay
Steve Kay
  • Updated: 15 Dec 2023 12:16 GMT
  • 3 min read
Santos striker Marcos Leonardo is linked with Arsenal
© ProShots

Arsenal have stepped up their pursuit of Marcos Leonardo in a bid to win the transfer race for the Santos wonderkid, FootballTransfers can reveal.

The Gunners’ interest in the 20-year-old was first revealed exclusively via this site in the summer and over recent weeks the desire of the Premier League challengers to land the forward has only increased.

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Numerous sources, including Fabrizio Romano, have since confirmed Arsenal’s interest in the talented forward, but Marcos Leonardo is also being followed by other clubs.

FootballTransfers can reveal that the most serious competition that the Emirates side face with regards signing a forward who scored 21 goals in 49 games over the course of the last Brazilian season is likely to come from Italy.

Roma had several bids for the player knocked back in the summer, but they are not the only Serie A club closely tracking him, sources have revealed.

In a bid to land their target, Arsenal have intensified their interest in the player.

Mikel Arteta wants two extra strikers
© ProShots - Mikel Arteta wants two extra strikers

Talks have been held with Rafaela Pimenta, who is representing Marcos Leonardo in a bid to bring the player to Europe during the January transfer window.

Marcos Leonardo on the move

Pimenta, who is most notably the agent of Erling Haaland, has already confirmed a very definite trend for the player to be transferred very soon.

Speaking back in November, she revealed the player wanted to stay and help Santos in their ultimately unsuccessful battle against relegation.

“Already in the previous transfer window, he had the possibility of being sold. But Santos’ sporting situation was very particular. He agreed to stay because he wanted to help out until the end of the season. He didn’t want to leave because it wasn’t the right thing to do,” she said.

Marcos Leonardo is set for a move to Europe in the winter window
© ProShots - Marcos Leonardo is set for a move to Europe in the winter window

“But the time has come for the transfer. He wants to have a European experience, and his time will come this winter.”

Arsenal, who see the player as one for the future and will continue to hunt for a senior No.9 to challenge Gabriel Jesus, are now intensifying their efforts in a bid to beat a string of clubs to one of Brazil’s most exciting young talents.

Mikel Arteta’s side are hoping that a fee of around €15-20 million will be sufficient to secure Marcos Leonardo, but Santos' relegation from the Brazil Serie A this campaign may see that value drop.

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