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Man Utd handed boost in signing Marcos Leonardo as Roma fail to agree payment terms

Manchester United have been handed a boost in signing Santos striker Marcos Leonardo amid Roma’s failure to negotiate payment terms.

The 20-year-old has made 149 appearances for Santos in his young career. This season, he has scored 14 goals and provided four assists from 30 outings.

Leonardo was also brilliant for Brazil during the recent Under-20 World Cup. He registered five goals and one assist from five games at the tournament.

Despite this, Santos are willing to sell him for just €15 million with a future sell-on clause.

Roma were deemed to be leading the race to sign the youngster, but there has been a setback with Santos reluctant to accept their payment terms.

As per Gazzetta dello Sport (page 14), Roma would like to start paying the fee from 2024 as they are keen on pursuing another experienced striker this summer.

Marko Arnautovic and Alexis Sanchez are among players under consideration while the club have not ruled out a move for Atletico Madrid’s Alvaro Morata.

Santos are clearly unimpressed with the proposal on the table. In our view, United now have the opportunity to prise away Leonardo ahead of Roma.

The Red Devils have already signed Rasmus Hojlund from Atalanta in a deal worth €85m.

However, the club are said to be interested in a deal for Leonardo. The Brazilian could be seen as an understudy to Hojlund for the 2023/24 season and beyond.

Anthony Martial is the other specialist striker in the squad, but the Frenchman is no longer a trustable figure, having missed a staggering 29 games over the last year.

Leonardo has impressed with his work rate and mobility in the final third. He also likes to press opponents and does not shy away from engaging in duels.

It remains to be seen whether United make a formal move for him, now that Roma have failed to find an agreement with Santos for the highly-rated Brazilian talent.

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