Reports: West Ham bid £10m for Santos striker Leonardo

Santos’ Brazilian striker Marcos Leonardo has emerged as the number one target for Premier League side West Ham. Leonardo has attracted interest from across Europe in recent months, but now West Ham look set to pounce, according to Premier League Brasil

Having scored 47 goals in 149 appearances for Santos across all competitions and an impressive 15 goals in 13 appearances for Brazil U20s, Leonardo is turning heads. With West Ham likely down to just one recognized striker with a week to go before the Premier League returns, an £8 million opening offer looks set to be tabled.

With West Ham having recently lifted a European trophy and netted an enormous sum from Declan Rice's sale to Arsenal. They need to spend some money, which is likely burning a hole in their pockets.

Leonardo destined for England?

Marcos Leonardo West Ham Transfer
Photo by Icon sport

Leonardo has courted a lot of interest in the past year, though England always looked like the most obvious final destination. Nottingham Forest, Arsenal, Manchester United, and Newcastle were all rumoured to have been watching the young Santos star. West Ham, who are likely to lose Scamacca in this window, while Michail Antonio has always been linked with a move away, those links seem a lot less credible.

How much will Leonardo cost West Ham?

Money talks, and everyone knows West Ham have a lot of it to play with right now. With the rumoured £8 million bid on the way, Santos are likely to want to hold out for more. While Santos expects offers of around £13 million for Santos, “Supersportes” has already claimed that they've requested £16 million for the services of Leonardo.

Regardless of the fee, it's a huge risk for West Ham to take. At just 20 years old, the Premier League is going to be a massive step-up for a player. This is made even more complicated by West Ham's need for more firepower in the striking department. With just one week to go before West Ham kick off their Premier League campaign, they have just one striker to call upon, so it might mean Leonardo is thrown into the action fairly quickly.

That said, it would probably be in the best interest of West Ham, providing they can secure the deal, to get Leonardo sent out on loan to another club in the UK to gain vital experience.

What will Marcos Leonardo bring?

West Ham are buying potential. Leonardo is a right footed striker, who can play alone or as part of a striker duo. At 5'7″, he is short, which might make adjusting to a more physical league a challenge, but players have done so in the past. Leonardo is not the quickest player out of the gate. However, he has great agility and reaction speed, making him great a getting into half space quicker and closing down goals.

Leonardo is a very central striker and tends not to drift out wide very often, if at all. With smart movement and quick feet, Leonardo could be a hand full for Premier League defenses that are playing much higher lines than they have in previous seasons.