Fabrizio Romano says £16m Arsenal target is joining Europa League side instead

Arsenal have been linked with Brazilian attacking talent Marcos Leonardo in recent months.

However, it looks as though the Gunners have missed out on the Santos ace to Portuguese giants Benfica.
Links between Arsenal and Leonardo go back to the summer transfer window. In July, FT reported that the Gunners had been scouting the 20-year-old.

Fabrizio Romano took to X on Wednesday with updates on Leonardo which have dealt a blow to Arsenal in their pursuit of the Brazil Under-23 gem.

The transfer insider declared “here we go” on Leonardo to Benfica, saying they had agreed a €18million fee with Santos for the player.
Later on in the day, Romano said Leonardo would be flying to Lisbon “over the next 24 hours” ahead of completing the deal to join the Primeira Liga and Europa League side.
Arsenal could well revisit Marcos Leonardo move in months or years to come – TBR View

Arsenal will no doubt be disappointed that they couldn’t get a deal for Leonardo over the line.
The Gunners have great knowledge of the Brazilian market and have several top players from the country in their ranks already.

Along with the signings who have come directly from Brazil, there are also the more established players who joined from European leagues, like Gabriel Jesus and Gabriel Magalhaes.

However, if we’re being completely honest, Leonardo will probably get more first-team football at Benfica, and it’ll be better for him from a growth perspective.
The Portuguese giants have a great track record of taking gems and polishing them into world-class talents before selling them at a huge profit.

Although it would’ve been good to see Leonardo at Arsenal, he’d probably get less first-team football – in the short-term at least – than at Benfica.

Nonetheless, the Gunners could well keep monitoring Leonardo to see how he fares in European football. Then who knows, this summer or next year, they could try again.

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