After weeks of chasing Gianluca Scamacca only to be pipped by Inter Milan at the last moment, who are, in turn, in danger of losing the young Italian striker to Atalanta, Roma has quickly pivoted to an entirely different target, Santos striker Marcos Leonardo. The 20-year-old forward only sprang into our purview yesterday, but with the Brazilian transfer window closing today, Roma had little time to waste.
While the media dangled another young South American forward in front of our faces today, Rosario's Ajejo Veliz, Roma has reportedly gone all-in on Leonardo. With Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest supposedly joining the fray, Roma GM Tiago Pinto has put on the full-court press.
#Calciomercato | @OfficialASRoma, si tratta a oltranza per #MarcosLeonardo soprattutto riguardo alle modalità di pagamento. Il @SantosFC avrebbe dato l'ok all'offerta della Roma, la proposta si aggira intorno ai 10 milioni più oltre 5 milioni di bonus. Si lavora per venirsi…— Gianluca Di Marzio (@DiMarzio) August 2, 2023
According to multiple sources in Italy, Roma and Santos are hashing out the final details on a permanent transfer that could rise as high as €15 million, per Gianluca Di Marzio. With Santos reportedly rebuffing Roma's earlier €8 to €10 million advances, the Giallorossi are poised to tack on an additional five million to push this deal over the finish line (some outlets claim Leonardo has a €15 million release clause anyway, so Roma likely has no choice but to meet that figure).
Nevertheless, given Roma's always precarious finances, the devil remains in the detail, as the two sides are reportedly negotiating the exact schedule of those payments.
I hate to say stay tuned, but you know how it goes—transfers aren't real until they are, but it feels like we're close to the awkward player-holding-scarf-in-the-airport photo.