West Ham are ready to make a second offer for a Brazil striker who can’t stop scoring, though imminent bids from the likes of Man Utd and Arsenal could see them frozen out, per a report.
The Under-20 World Cup is providing a chance for the hottest young talent in the game to prove their worth. The top scorer in the tournament that is currently taking place in Argentina is Chelsea midfielder, Cesare Casadei.
The 20-year-old is yet to make his senior Blues debut, though that may soon change if his form for Italy’s Under-20s is anything to go by.
Just one goal behind Casadei’s mark of five is Santos sensation, Marcos Leonardo. The 20-year-old has scored four in four in the tournament to take his tally for Brazil’s Under-20s to an incredible 14 goals in 12 appearances.
According to the Daily Mail, West Ham got the drop on Leonardo six months ago and tabled a bid for the frontman who has drawn comparisons with Premier League and Man City legend, Sergio Aguero.
Leonardo is not the tallest, though is quick, can finish with both feet and his stocky build ensures he cannot be muscled off the ball.
Santos rejected West Ham’s winter window bid, though per the Mail, they are expected to try again this summer.
However, according to the newspaper, they could be eased out of the running by truly heavyweight competition.
Indeed, it’s reported scouts from Man Utd, Arsenal, Newcastle and Chelsea have all watched Leonardo during the tournament.
His goal-per-game displays will have made an impression, with the Mail adding Santos are ‘expecting bids in the coming days’.
Precisely how much Santos would command for the striker isn’t speculated in the piece. Perhaps that will hinge on whether he fires Brazil to glory in the Under-20s World Cup and whether multiple suitors ignite a bidding war.
One potential factor that could work in Man Utd’s favour is the fact Red Devils icon, Cristiano Ronaldo, is Leonardo’s hero.
In the event an English side do successfully bring Leonardo to the Premier League, he may well be ready to make an instant impact.
Indeed, despite being just 20 years old, Leonardo is the veteran of over 140 first-team appearances for Santos. He’s notched 41 goals for the club since making his senior debut as a 17-year-old back in 2020.