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Arsenal have taken first steps to sign Sporting star Ousmane Diomande

Arsenal look set to miss out on the signing of Santos striker Marcos Leonardo to Benfica...READ THE FULL STORY HERE▶

The Gunners are aiming to bolster the centre-forward department this month and Sky Sports reporter Tim Vickery revealed yesterday that the club are looking into a deal for Leonardo.

However, it appears the 20-year-old could be on his way to Benfica in the coming days with Santos president Marcelo Teixeira confirming a formal proposal from the Portuguese outfit.

In his Instagram account, Teixeira disclosed the bid from the Primeira Liga champions and posted a picture of him exchanging jerseys with Benfica sporting director Rui Pedro Braz.

He also said: “At the end of Tuesday afternoon, in Santos, we received Mr. Rui Pedro Braz, Sports Director of SL Benfica, in order to further narrow the relationship between the clubs, I spoke on the phone with Mr. Rui Costa, president of the traditional Portuguese team, who formalised a proposal for the striker Marcos Leonardo.”

Meanwhile, Portuguese publication O Jogo (page 10) reveal that a deal could be completed in the next few days and Benfica are likely to pay a fee of around £15.6 million to sign the striker.

Arsenal set to lose out on Leonardo to Benfica

Benfica are known for recruiting emerging talents from South America. In the summer of 2022, they signed Enzo Fernandez from River Plate before selling him to Chelsea for a nine-figure sum.

There are no surprises that the club have moved quickly for Leonardo. He netted 21 goals for Santos last season, but was unable to prevent them from avoiding a shock relegation from Serie A.

Santos are prepared to sell Leonardo with the need to re-invest into their squad. Benfica have pounced on the opportunity with a formal bid which has apparently been accepted by the Brazilian giants.

This is not an update which Arsenal fans would like but in our opinion, the Gunners are better off pursuing an experienced Premier League striker over a young talent from Brazil.

Leonardo would obviously need time to adapt to European football which Arsenal can’t afford, considering they are currently in the running for the Premier League title.

As said previously, we believe the club should splash the cash to land Brentford’s Ivan Toney. Eddie Nketiah may need to be offloaded in order to recoup part of the funds.

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