Roma came within a hair’s width from acquiring Marcos Leonardo last summer. Santos ultimately decided to keep him as they had already sold other talents and were struggling in league play. The Giallorossi were very confident about the purchase being simply postponed after deadline day, but their optimism has progressively waned.
Considered one of Brazilian football’s hottest prospects, Leonardo is contracted with Santos until December 2026, and is expected to depart the club by the end of the 2023/24 European season. The emergence of Premier League giants Newcastle United in the transfer race is set to shake things up.
Marcos Leonardo was very close to joining Roma last summer, but a few factors impeded him from switching sides. Giallorossi icon Aldair is skeptical the move will come together in the future either: “I don’t think the transfer will happen. He’s very good. There was a lot of chatter last summer."
Santos general manager Alexandre Gallo has backed Marcos Leonardo to leave in the next transfer window, after Roma failed to come an agreement over the summer. Although Leonardo is touted to face extra competition come winter, Roma are still in pole position to win the transfer race.
Marcos Leonardo won’t join Roma this summer, as Santos took him off the market, but the Giallorossi remain very keen on a January addition, which they will try to seal in short order. The prodigy confirmed the turn of events: "What happened hurts me and the club."
Roma are struggling to make Santos cave for Marcos Leonardo despite the wish of the player and the help of his agent Rafaela Pimenta. The Brazilian club’s president Carlos Rueda stated that their proposal was insufficient: “We need him, and our goal is to keep him until December."
Roma are having trouble in the negotiations for Marcos Leonardo and Duvan Zapata and have begun considering different options to shore up their attack, Chelsea’s Armando Broja and Betis Sevilla’s Willian José. Milan are after the Albanian marksman as well.
Despite significant problems during the negotiation, Roma haven’t given up the chase for Marcos Leonardo. Rafaela Pimenta is helping them out. She has flown to Brazil for direct talks with Santos. The Giallorossi are unlikely to keep pursuing the starlet past this week and will table a final offer.