Arsenal & Man Utd on alert as striker's agent confirms plans for January transfer

  • Santos striker Marcos Leonardo is set to leave Brazil in January
  • Clubs from across the Premier League have voiced an interest in the 20-year-old
  • West Ham & Nottingham Forest failed with summer offers
Leonardo is expected to leave Santos
Leonardo is expected to leave Santos / ANDRES LARROVERE/GettyImages

The agent of Santos striker Marcos Leonardo has confirmed the 20-year-old will leave the club in the January transfer window.

90min revealed earlier this month that Santos are resigned to losing Leonardo this winter, with clubs from across the Premier League preparing offers for the talented Brazilian.

Indeed, both Arsenal and Manchester United have scouted Leonardo recently, while the Under-20 World Cup presented Chelsea, Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur with the chance to watch over the striker.

Interest in Leonardo has been growing in 2023. During the summer, both Nottingham Forest and West Ham United held talks but failed to get a deal over the line, while 90min previously reported he is being considered by Brentford even if Ivan Toney stays at the club. The competition for the striker has risen dramatically.

"Already in the previous transfer window, he had the possibility of being sold," agent Rafaela Pimenta confirmed to Relevo.

"But Santos' sporting situation was very particular. He accepted 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.

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

Marcos Leonardo
Leonardo has excelled for Santos / ALEXANDRE SCHNEIDER/GettyImages

Sources have confirmed to 90min that Santos will demand around £20m to part ways with Leonardo, who has struck 21 goals in 45 appearances for his club this calendar year.

While the Premier League interest in Leonardo is strong, clubs in mainland Europe are also following the striker.

Roma, who pursued a move for Leonardo last summer, remain keen on a deal. The Brazil youth international stopped training with Santos in an attempt to force through a move to Rome before ultimately returning to his role as a key starter.

Portuguese giants Porto and Sporting CP have also signalled a desire to sign Leonardo in January.