Newcastle United

Newcastle United

Premier League • England

Exclusive: Newcastle frontrunners in race to sign Santos star with Porto and Sevilla also chasing

Newcastle United are emerging as frontrunners in the race to sign Santos talent Marcos Leonardo, and how much it’ll take to secure his signature has been revealed.

Newcastle are putting together plans for two massive windows as the club pushes on to become one of the biggest and most successful in England. A comprehensive list is being drawn up for January and summer by the recruitment team.

One name who sources have confirmed the club have scouted is striker Marcos Leonardo, a 20-year-old who has been in fantastic form for his side Santos and who has scored 13 times in the Brazilian Serie A this season.

The club have made greater efforts into scouting South America as they expand their global reach and recruitment drive. A number of players have been highlighted but Leonardo has been marked as a top talent who will be playing in the biggest competitions soon.

They are not alone in their admiration for him as he is gaining interest from Portugal, Italy and Spain whilst his goalscoring exploits continue. Porto have been confirmed to have scouted him and Sevilla hold a strong interest.

The LaLiga side have sounded out the conditions of a deal and have put in a lot of groundwork compared to most teams chasing him. However, Newcastle have the biggest attraction and financial advantage by far out of all the sides in the mix.

The Magpies have had conversations with the team representing Leonardo but there is nothing formal on the table and the beginnings of a deal have not yet begun. Sources at Santos state that no club is officially in talks with them over a potential deal for their superstar.

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£25m could seal deal for Newcastle

The Brazilian giants are more than willing to talk and need financial help that could see a deal be done for as little as £25million despite Leonardo having a £100m release clause. It’s also understood that the striker believes he is playing his last season at the club.

A move is being pushed by his agency and he will be a name that begins to grow more and more in the coming weeks. Leonardo has played seven times for the Brazil under 20’s and scored seven goals, a record that is getting him noticed.

The St. James’ Park side have more serious issues to address, such as cover for the now banned Sandro Tonali, but are looking to take the next steps in their project by bringing in some of the world’s best young talent over the next year.

Marcos Leonardo will move within the next two windows and it will be dependent on who makes the fastest and strongest move.

Leonardo’s current contract in Brazil runs until 2026 after putting pen to paper on a contract extension last January.

The Magpies are also keeping an eye on Juventus star Federico Chiesa, who could cost around £52m if Eddie Howe’s side attempt to take him away from Italy in the upcoming transfer windows. Chiesa is also set to sit down with the Juve hierarchy to discuss his future and potentially sign a contract extension.

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