Newcastle ‘ready £16m offer’ for Real Madrid target Marcos Leonardo

Eddie Howe makes no apologies for Newcastle’s no-nonsense approach to winning

Newcastle are reportedly preparing a bid for Santos star Marcos Leonardo, who has been heavily linked with numerous European giants. The forward has attracted interest from Real Madrid and Roma, but the Magpies are hoping that the prospect of regular game time in the Premier League could prove persuasive.

Eddie Howe’s side have made a fair start to the season, winning six of their opening 12 matches and proving a tough nut to crack in the Champions League. Injuries have played a major role in Newcastle’s campaign so far though, and they are continuing to prove a significant hindrance at St James’ Park.

Howe is having to contend with absentees in all departments, though his depth in the final third is beginning to look increasingly bleak by the week. Callum Wilson, Alexander Isak, Miguel Almiron, Harvey Barnes and Jacob Murphy are among those nursing injuries at present, leaving the Magpies in need of urgent reinforcements.

Newcastle are expected to lean on the January transfer window to bolster their ranks so that their entire season is not derailed, with at least one forward set to arrive in Tyneside. According to The Mirror, Brazilian prospect Leonardo is among those admired and the Magpies are preparing an offer for the 20-year-old.

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Chelsea and Fulham are among the Santos star’s admirers, with Real Madrid also keeping very close tabs on his progress in the hope of striking a deal for his services.

Newcastle are said to have already enquired about the availability of Leonardo and were told that a bid in the region of £25million would be entertained, but the Geordies are hopeful of negotiating a deal with Santos for a lesser fee.

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The Magpies are expected to table an offer of £16m for the versatile forward in the January transfer window, keen to strike a deal sooner rather than later as they are ‘anxious’ about other Premier League clubs – such as Chelsea – from firming up their interest and a bidding war being kickstarted.

Howe will be keen to ensure that his transfer targets are lined up for when the January window opens, with another midfielder expected to arrive in order to plug the hole in his squad caused by Sandro Tonali’s recent ban. Manchester City star Kalvin Phillips is among those being shortlisted as a target in that department, as well as ex-Wolves star Ruben Neves.

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