West Ham United have seen a loan with option to buy offer for Santos wonderkid Marcos Leonardo rejected, 90min understands.
The Hammers already completed a deal worth £15m for Aston Villa striker Danny Ings last Friday, strengthening the options available to David Moyes as the club looks to pull away from the relegation zone.
But West Ham have spent a significant amount of time scouting young talents in South America and sources have confirmed to 90min that a bid was previously lodged for 19-year-old Leonardo – a young forward well known to players of Football Manager.
The bid is understood to have been a loan deal with an option to buy, but Santos were not prepared to sanction the exit of a player many feel is destined for the very top of the game.
Leonardo, who has previously cited Cristiano Ronaldo as his idol, has been tentatively linked with Liverpool in the past, and scored 21 goals in 57 appearances for Santos during a breakthrough 2022.
In addition to Leonardo, West Ham’s scouting mission has also seen the club monitor 17-year-old Athletico Paranaense sensation Vitor Roque, though he is a player courting a significant amount of interest, and central midfielder Thiago Maia.
Luizao has already joined West Ham from Sao Paulo on a three-and-a-half-year contract, although he is not expected to challenge for a first-team place this season.