Barcelona have announced the departure of Brazilian defender Marlon Santos, with the player joining Serie A side Sassuolo on a permanent transfer.

Barcelona have confirmed the departure of Marlon Santos from their roster. The Brazilian defender joins Serie A side Sassuolo on a permanent transfer, with the Italian side shelling out an initial €6 million for the star. Marlon Santos was also a target for Newcastle and Schalke.

Sassuolo are obligated to pay another €6 million to Barcelona if and when Marlon Santos reaches 50 appearances for the Italian side. Barcelona also reserve the right to buyback the player for an undisclosed amount while also retaining the right to 50% revenue from any future sale of the defender.

Marlon Santos arrived in Barcelona from Fluminese and was initially a part of their B side. But, the player did make three first-team appearances in the 2016-17 season before being shipped out on loan to OGC Nice, wherein he was one of the regulars and managed to impress. His loan stint generated quite an interest in his services, with Newcastle and Schalke interested along with Sassuolo.

Newcastle have the likes of Ciaran Clark, Jamaal Lascelles and Florian Lejuene as part of their central defensive roster. Fabian Schar was signed by the Magpies but Rafa Benitez was keen to add Marlon to the roster to bolster the backline, especially with Jamaal Lascelles being linked to an exit.

Everything seemed in place for the player to join Newcastle. But, the Magpies were denied a work permit for Marlon Santos, which saw the deal fall apart. Newcastle signed Federico Fernandez from Swansea on deadline day instead.

Schalke mounted a late attempt and even offered more than Sassuolo. But, the defender opted to sign for the Italian outfit and is now set to start a new phase of his career in Serie A. A handy customer when on the ball, Marlon is one of the players who are technically adept and could turn out to be a real asset to the Italian club.

Marlon Santos will find company at Sassuolo in the form of compatriot Rogerio, who is on a season-long loan from Juventus. As far as his preference is concerned, Italy seems to be a country where most Brazilians prefer to ply their trade.

As far as Marlon himself is concerned, the 22-year-old will be hoping to impress Sassuolo and Barcelona during his time in Serie A, which compels the Catalans to buy the player back.

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