Home » The race to sign Manchester United target Marcos Leonardo heats up as Roma GM signals intent in press conference

The race to sign Manchester United target Marcos Leonardo heats up as Roma GM signals intent in press conference

by Mathew Cohen

Manchester United are set to face stiff competition in their transfer pursuit of Brazilian striker Marcos Leonardo after AS Roma General Manager Tiago Pinto revealed that his team is ready to step up their pursuit of the player.

Il Messaggero reported that Pinto revealed in a press conference yesterday that Roma could launch a new bid for the Santos striker once the January transfer window opens.

Although the Serie A club made numerous attempts to sign the player in the summer, with Leonardo himself refusing to train or play for Santos in an effort to force the deal, the Brazilian club remained resolute as no agreement was reached.

The Peoples Person covered reports in May that Roma and Man United had both displayed an interest in the 20 year old.

Initially, Santos had set an asking price of €15 million, however, this appeared to be a smoke screen as Roma’s negotiations with the club became more challenging than expected.

The Serie A club saw its opening offer of €12 million plus €6m in add-ons swiftly rejected by Santos.

While the club later submitted a bid exceeding €20 million for the player including add-ons, no deal materialized before the transfer deadline.

United were later reported to have entered the race to sign Leonardo, particularly as Roma got despondent, considering other striker options such as Willian Jose before ultimately signing Chelsea forward Romelu Lukaku on a season-long loan.

Italian media outlet TUTTOmercatoWEB confirmed United’s interest in the 20 year old, adding that the club could “easily” outbid Roma’s previous offer of €20 million plus €5 in add-ons.

Leonardo has been enjoying a breakout season with Santos, scoring eight goals and providing two assists in 16 appearances in the Brasileiro Serie A.

This comes after he finished last season with 13 goals and three assists in 35 league games. (Sofascore)

Leonardo could prove to be a crucial player for United, especially given the team’s lack of firepower up front.

While there are high hopes for summer signing Rasmus Hojlund to emerge as United’s star striker, squad rotations may become necessary when the fixture schedule gets more condensed once Champions League football and the domestic cups come into play.

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