Manchester United are mulling making a ‘competitive’ bid for a Brazilian striker whose transfer would share similarities with an Arsenal masterstroke.
The Red Devils fixed their gaze on Harry Kane over the summer, though financial constraints ensured the ex-Tottenham frontman was simply too expensive to sign.
Man Utd had other areas in their squad that also required attention. As such, a cheaper alternative was required if United were to also sign Andre Onana and Mason Mount.
Rasmus Hojlund was the player Erik ten Hag and co settled on. However, the Manchester Evening News claimed that if money allowed, the Dutchman would’ve also pushed for a second addition up front.
The logic there would be signing a player far more capable than Anthony Martial of making a major impact. Furthermore, Martial’s contract expires at season’s end, though there is a club option for an extra year.
Now, according to a report in Spain (as cited by the MEN), Man Utd have set their sights on Marcos Leonardo of Santos.
The 20-year-old is labelled a ‘Brazilian pearl’ and interest from clubs in the major European leagues is swelling. His suitors have certainly got an eyeful when observing his international exploits. Leonardo has notched 15 goals in 13 matches at Under-20 level for Brazil.
The report names Man Utd specifically and goes on to state a ‘competitive’ bid worth €20m (approx. £17.35m) is being considered for 2024. Whether the offer would arrive in January or next summer is not made clear.
If United intend to bolster their attacking ranks in January, today’s Euro Paper Talk brought news of who looks likely to be sold to free up funds.
Leonardo is vastly experienced despite being just 20 years of age. The frontman has racked up over 150 first-team appearances for Santos, scoring 50 goals in the process.
Man Utd hoping to emulate Arsenal?
Any Man Utd move for Leonardo would share similarities with the deal that saw Arsenal sign Gabriel Martinelli back in 2019.
The Gunners rolled the dice when signing a promising young forward direct from the Brazilian leagues. As such, the transfer fee in question – just £6m – was far lower than what Arsenal would’ve been expected to pay if buying from a European side.
Martinelli has since gone on to become one of the most dangerous wingers in the Premier League and scored a career-best 15 goals last term.
If the Spanish report is accurate, United hope to mirror what has already proven to be a masterful move by Arsenal.