Manchester United, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus are involved in a four-way tussle for Paris Saint-Germain center-back Marquinhos
According to a report in GloboEsporte.com, the Parisians have received massive offers from Barcelona, Juventus and Manchester United for the 23-year-old Brazilian international, who currently have 2 seasons left on his current contract at the Parc de Princes.
Besides the aforementioned trio, Barcelona’s arch rivals and European Champions Real Madrid have also sent their representatives to meet with people in Marquinhos’ close circle to discuss a possible move and find out more about the player, his ambitions, etc.
Amongst the clubs that have made an offer, Manchester United’s bid is the biggest at an eye-watering €70 million. The timing of this bid comes as a surprise, given that the Red Devils recently secured the signing of Victor Lindelof from Benfica for an estimated €35 million.
With the likes of Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, Chris Smalling and Eric Bailly already present in the squad, it may mean the beginning of the end for some of the players if this move actually goes through, or the United boss may be planning to permanently shift to a 3-man defence.
Towards the end of the previous campaign, Mourinho began experimenting with a 3-man defence, a change from his usual 4-2-3-1 formation. Albeit with varied degrees of success, we may very well see a Lindelof-Bailly-Marquinhos defence lining up for United in the near future.
Barcelona has always been said to be Marquinhos’ preferred destination, but their offer was the smallest of the three – amounting in the region of €40 to €45 million. It is reportedly around the same amount that the Blaugrana offered for him last season, only for PSG to turn it down.
The Catalan giants’ defensive problems last season were clear for all to see and they are in desperate need of reinforcements. Pique, Mascherano and Mathieu are all over 30 years of age and they need to begin planning for the long term.
They also desperately need of players at right-back as Sergi Roberto cannot keep playing there if they are to avoid a repeat of last season. Marquinhos’ ability to seamlessly shift between center-back and right-back would make him a perfect fit at the Camp Nou.
Their arch rivals Real Madrid are the latest club to show an interest in Marquinhos. With the departure of Pepe and Sergio Ramos entering the last few years of his contract, Los Blancos will likely be in the hunt for young players who can serve as long term options.
However, they already have the youngsters like of Diego Llorente & Jesus Vallejo returning from loan and Raphael Varane & Nacho already present in the squad, so it remains to be seen whether Real choose to splash the cash on Marquinhos or promote their own youngsters to the first team.
Their fellow 2017 Champions League finalists Juventus, too have their own defensive problems to sort out, especially at center-back. Their famed center-back trio of Andrea Barzagli, Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci are all well into their 30’s, as is Mehdi Benatia.
Their youngster center-back is Daniel Rugani at 22. The Biaconeri have done some superb business in the past few seasons that has not only seen them maintain their stronghold atop the Serie A, but also become regulars in the latter stages of the Champions League.
If they are to keep maintaining and even build on the success, there will be an urgent need for reinforcements and planning for the future and there are few youngsters can that can match Marquinhos’ CV in terms of silverware and experience.
He will be familiar with the Serie A from his time at rivals AS Roma and vast Champions League experience from his time with the Parisians. Juventus’ defence was the foundation on which the team was built and Marquinhos would certainly be a solid addition to a fast ageing backline.
However, amidst all the interest, Marquinhos will have to consider how much game time he gets at each club. After David Luiz’s departure to Chelsea last season, the former Corinthians defender was thrust into a more prominent role in the first team alongside Thiago Silva. Should he find opportunities limited at another club, it may severely affect his chances to make it into Brazil’s 2018 World Cup squad.