By James Murray

19th Nov, 2023 | 7:40pm

Fabrizio Romano issues transfer update on West Ham United-linked Marcos Leonardo, 'He will leave'

Marcos Leonardo will leave Santos in January amid interest from West Ham in signing him, according to Fabrizio Romano.

The Italian journalist told Caught Offside on Saturday (18 November) that the 20-year-old forward could be available for about £17.5million once the transfer window comes around.

Despite adding that it’s a “very open race” to sign the Brazilian U-20 international, he believes it could be a “complicated package” to complete due to the associated clauses around the deal.

“He will leave Santos in January and the price could be around €20million (£17.5million), but it’s a complicated package that could include add-ons, percentage on future sale etc,” said Romano. “Roma wanted him last August but they had three bids rejected, and now it’s a very open race.”

Get it done

This is definitely a piece of business West Ham should be looking into completing after continuously being linked with Leonardo over the past few months.

He was one of the forwards technical director Tim Steidten was believed to be exploring a deal for when he flew out to Brazil towards the end of the summer transfer window.

The fee now in question is extremely low for such a young player who is believed to possess an awful lot of quality after scoring 54 goals and laying on 11 assists in 164 appearances for Santos.

The Hammers are keen to add another striker to their ranks as Michail Antonio isn’t getting any younger and Danny Ings has failed to find any form since making the move to the London Stadium.

The Brazilian could come in and add some youthfulness to the Irons’ forward options and potentially command a hefty future transfer fee if he turns out to be a hit at the club.

In other West Ham news, an insider has revealed how long a Hammers star could be out for after picking up a “bad” injury on international duty.