Southampton are on the verge of securing the services of Marlos Santos, who will be sold by FC Barcelona after failing to break into the first team.
According to reports from Spanish news outlet Sport, the future of Marlos Santos has already been decided with Premier League side Southampton closing in on a move. The 22-year-old defender has been long subjected to a move out of Barcelona this summer with a host of clubs interested in his services.
However, it looks like Premier League will be the next destination for the Brazilian defender in the upcoming season.
The report further claims that Southampton will have to spend around €12m for his services along with added bonuses, depending on his performances in England. Marlon’s agents were in Barcelona this week to meet Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu and to finalize his move out of the club.
Marlon Santos spent the last season at Nice on a season-long loan deal. And he did pretty well in the French top flight partnering alongside veteran defender Dante and the 28-year-old Maxime Le Marchand. The Brazilian centre-back made 23 appearances under Lucien Favre, helping his side finish in a respectable eighth position in the final league standings.
However, the Barcelona board have deemed him surplus to the requirements for the upcoming season, especially with the Catalan giants already struggling to register another non-EU player in Yerry Mina. And even though Barca were the ones to recall Marlon from his loan deal at Nice, selling him for a higher profit seemed to have always been their intention.
Marlon joined the club for a fee of €9m and shipping him off for €12m would see the Spanish giants make a quick €3m profit, excluding added bonuses. Therefore, it’s a good piece of business from Barcelona.
However, Southampton are arguably the winners of this deal as the Saints can secure the services of a defender who has shown immense potential for a fee of just €12m, which is a snip in today’s market.
Following an utterly disappointing campaign last season, which almost saw them relegated to the second tier of English football, the Saints will be keen to bolster their squad this summer. Defence, in particular, will remain a cause for concern for head coach Mark Hughes as Southampton let in as many as 56 goals last campaign.
Therefore, the club from the South-coast of England, are in dire need of a top quality centre-back this summer, especially after the departure of Dutch international Virgil Van Dijk and thus, Marlon Santos is a viable target for the Saints.
The 22-year-old is an excellent young defender, whose playing style can be compared with PSG superstar Thiago Silva. During his time with Nice, Marlon has shown incredible promise and could definitely turn out to be a valued asset for the club in the long term.
Even though there have been questions regarding his lack of physicality, which could potentially hinder his progress in the high-paced Premier League, Southampton will be delighted to secure the services of this promising Barcelona defender, who is more than capable of solidifying their wobbly defence next season.