Newcastle United & Man United target set for medical in 'next 24 hours' as £15.5m transfer agreed

Santos FC forward Marcos Leonardo is set to join Benfica. (Photo by Ricardo Moreira/Getty Images)Santos FC forward Marcos Leonardo is set to join Benfica. (Photo by Ricardo Moreira/Getty Images)
Santos FC forward Marcos Leonardo is set to join Benfica. (Photo by Ricardo Moreira/Getty Images) | Getty Images
Newcastle United and Manchester United were among the Europe clubs linked with the young Brazilian.

Santos FC forward Marcos Leonardo is set to complete a move to Portuguese giants Benfica this week.

The 20-year-old has reportedly attracted interest from several Premier League clubs including Newcastle United, Manchester United and Arsenal. But according to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, Leonardo has agreed to join Benfica.

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Leonardo is due in Lisbon in the next 24 hours to undergo his medical and finalise a £15.5million transfer.

Santos FC forward Marcos Leonardo is set to join Benfica. (Photo by Ricardo Moreira/Getty Images)Santos FC forward Marcos Leonardo is set to join Benfica. (Photo by Ricardo Moreira/Getty Images)
Santos FC forward Marcos Leonardo is set to join Benfica. (Photo by Ricardo Moreira/Getty Images) | Getty Images

Romano posted on XI: "Marcos Leonardo update: new Benfica striker will fly to Lisbon over the next 24 hours, club planning for it. Important detail: Benfica will pay €18m fixed fee for Marcos, Santos will have 10% of plus-value on future sale [and not sell-on clause]. Here we go confirmed."

The Brazilian has scored 54 goals in 168 appearances for Santos. Leonardo's agent Rafaela Pimenta revealed in November that a move to Europe was on the cards.

“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.

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"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."

Newcastle are set to have just one fit senior striker available for the whole of January with Callum Wilson (calf) ruled out of Saturday's Tyne-Wear derby clash away to Sunderland and the visit of Manchester City to St James' Park a week later.

The burden will lie with Alexander Isak, who has had his own struggles with a groin issue this campaign.

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