Barcelona are reportedly all set to trigger the buy option on their loan deal for Fluminese defender Marlon Santos.

21-year-old Brazilian Marlon Santos will be a somewhat familiar face to many Barcelona fans. The central defender joined the Blaugrana on a loan deal from Brazilian club Fluminese in July 2016. Barca also have an option to buy, which is set to expire in June 2017.

Santos has made most of his appearances for Barca B, but came on as a substitute for the senior team during their 2-0 win over Celtic in the Champions League last month. He has also played a full match with the senior side, their pre-season friendly against Premier League champions Leicester City.

Brazilian media outlet Globoesporte are now reporting that the Catalan club have decided to snap him up on a permanent deal, as per Spanish publication Sport.

Barca will have to pay Fluminese a transfer fee of €6 million, although this price could be adjusted given the fact that the Brazilian outfit are believed to owe debts to the Catalan club.

However, the report adds that the player’s agent has refused to confirm the signing. Madrid based publication Marca have also gotten into the act, claiming that Barcelona have officially denied this, although they haven’t cited any official comment from the club.

Sport are generally a reliable source of information for Barcelona related news, while the opposite holds true for Marca. In this regard, it is quite likely that the Blaugrana are indeed working on signing Santos to a permanent deal.

Barcelona's Brazilian defender Marlon Santos (R) vies with Leicester's English defender Danny Simpson (C) during the 2016 International Champions Cup friendly football match between FC Barcelona and Leicester City at Friends Arena on August 3, 2016 in Solna, Sweden. (Photo by Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images)

Barcelona’s Brazilian defender Marlon Santos (R) vies with Leicester’s English defender Danny Simpson (C) during the 2016 International Champions Cup friendly football match between FC Barcelona and Leicester City at Friends Arena on August 3, 2016 in Solna, Sweden. (Photo by Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images)

Santos is a highly rated talent in Brazil and has featured at the U20 and U23 level for his country. His defensive abilities have drawn comparisons with those of compatriot Thiago Silva, who is considered one of the best in the world and currently plays for PSG.

Barcelona are currently looking to the future when it comes to the defense. With the careers of both Gerard Pique and Javier Mascherano winding down, the Blaugrana are on the hunt for top notch defenders who can fill the void they’ve left behind.

Marlon Santos could prove to be the one they’ve been looking for, and follow in the footsteps of compatriot Neymar towards unprecedented success.

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