The 19-year-old has produced eye-catching form this season, netting 12 goals from 29 league matches with the South American side to garner attention from Europe.
Neves, who's known for his controversial opinions, revealed Leonardo will be joining the Reds this summer. Speaking on Brazilian the show Esporte na Band, he said (via SPORTbible):
“Corinthians yesterday escaped being defeated by the Santos kids. Marcos Leonardo, who’s going to Liverpool, this guy is the new Romário!”
While there are no concrete reports to support these claims, it might be true as Santos coach Elano had confirmed back in November that Liverpool had also pursued Rodrygo before he was priced away by Real Madrid.
He was recently included in Goal's best young South American players' list, where the 19-year-old was likened to his compatriot, Neymar.
However, he's claimed to have idolozed Cristiano Ronaldo and hopes to play with the Manchester United ace someday.
Leonardo told Goal:
"There are several that I am inspired by, Ricardo Oliveira, I've liked him since I was little. Romario, Adriano, Luis Suarez, Ronaldo Fenomeno and Cristiano Ronaldo, who has been my idol since I was little."
The forward broke into Santos' senior team in 2020 and has consistently improved since then.
He netted five times in his first year, seven in the second, and has scored 12 goals in the current season already.
Liverpool are stacked with forwards and don't need another one
Liverpool parted ways with Sadio Mane, Divock Origi and Takumi Minamino this summer. Despite these departures, the Reds have five forward players in their ranks at the moment.
Mohamed Salah is in the form of his life while Luis Diaz is a close call for Liverpool's best player at the moment. Diogo Jota is an ever-reliable forward who can play anywhere across the front-three, while the experienced Roberto Firmino also has another year left on his current contract.
Leonardo is potentially a great talent but there is no space in Jurgen Klopp's team to give the young Brazilian sustained gametime this season. He is likely to spend long hours on the bench if he were to join the Reds this summer.
Paul Merson has predicted all the GW 1 fixtures of the Premier League. More details right here