Marcos Leonardo is expected to move to Europe in January (Picture: Getty Images)
The 20-year-old has already racked up over 150 appearances for Santos, this season scoring 13 goals in 27 Serie A appearances.
The forward is yet to make his Brazil debut, but has been a hit for his country’s Under-20 side, scoring five goals in five games at this year’s Under-20 World Cup.
Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano told CaughtOffside that Leonardo ‘will leave’ Santos in January and he will only cost around €20m (£17.5m), although there will be add-ons involved in the package.
Unsurprisingly there is plenty of interest in the young forward at that price, with West Ham, Newcastle, Real Madrid, Sevilla and Roma all thought to be considering a move in January.
Roma reportedly made three bids for Leonardo over the summer, all of which were unsuccessful, but a move is expected to materialise in the next transfer window.
Leonardo scored five goals for Brazil at this year’s Under-20 World Cup (Picture: Getty Images)
Speaking to FIFA earlier this year, Leonardo said of his game: ‘Seeing the ball in the back of the net is all that matters. Whether it’s a wonder-strike or a tap-in, it’s worth the same. A centre-forward has to score goals.
‘I’m always working on my passing, so I don’t mess up on the pitch, don’t make silly mistakes when I’m playing. It’s something you have to cut out.
‘I don’t notice it, but everyone says I’ve improved to no end since turning professional.’
Telling Goal last year of his footballing heroes: ‘Cristiano Ronaldo, who has always been my idol, and I always dream of playing with him. The first is him.
‘The King [Pele], there’s no way, I don’t even have words. If I played with him, I would learn a lot. And [Lionel] Messi.
‘There are several, but as you only gave me three options, there are several that I dream of playing, there is Ricardo Oliveira, Neymar, there are several.’
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