Man Utd and Newcastle 'target' set for medical in 'next 24 hours' after £15.5m deal agreed

Erik ten Hag is keen to source attacking reinforcements at Man Utd but club chiefs expect a quiet January.
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Marcos Leonardo looks set to complete his move to Portuguese outfit Benfica this week.

Manchester United were among three Premier League clubs to have been linked with the Santos forward, whose big European move was expected to see him in England. Newcastle United and Arsenal were also thought to be eyeing the 20-year-old with all three in need of attacking reinforcements. However, Manchester World understands the interest from United wasn't that strong.

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But according to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, Leonardo has instead decided on a move to Lisbon and will sign for Benfica in the coming days. The Portuguese giants are thought to have agreed a £15.5million with Santos for the striker's services and he is due for a medical 'in the next 24 hours'.

Leonardo has long been tipped for a major European move after netting an impressive 54 goals in 168 appearances for Santos at just 20-years-old. He attracted interest from the aforementioned trio in the summer and his agent, Rafaela Pimenta, admitted in November that a January move was likely.

“Already in the previous transfer market he had the possibility of being sold, but Santos’ sporting situation was very particular," Pimenta said. "He agreed to stay because he wanted to help out until the end of the championship.

"He didn’t want to leave because it wasn’t the right thing to do. But the time has come to move. He wants to have a European experience and his time will come this winter."

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United remain in the market for attacking reinforcements but club chiefs have already said they expect a quiet month, particularly regarding incomings. Any move for a new striker would depend on potentially offloading Anthony Martial, who was also up for sale in the summer but did not attract serious interest.

Erik ten Hag's side have continued to struggle in front of goal this season, with their total of 22 in the Premier League only better than Burnley and Sheffield United. £72m summer signing Rasmus Hojlund scored his first league goal at the 15th attempt in last month's 3-2 win over Aston Villa, while Martial has just two goals in all competitions.

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