If reports coming out of various media outlets are to be believed, Brazilian centre-back Marquinhos is on the verge of joining Barcelona in a £24 million deal. The 20-year-old is currently playing for the Brazilian Under-20 side at the prestigious Toulon tournament, forming an impressive partnership with Botofogo's Dória.
Although the deal is yet to be confirmed by either PSG or Barça, it would seem that it could involve an indirect swap for Dani Alves.
At the age of 20, Marquinhos has already represented Brazil at senior level - an impressive feat when you consider the wealth of talent Brazil currently have in that position- and played full seasons at Roma, where he thrived, and PSG.
His first season in Paris was not as successful as he would have liked, despite winning Ligue 1 and the Coupe de la Ligue. He only managed 17 starts in Ligue 1 off the back of a €31.4 million move, with his route to the first team blocked by Thiago Silva and Alex.
Last season shouldn't fool you into thinking Marquinhos doesn't possess the necessary attributes to succeed at the very top, though. He has incredible reading of the game for a young defender and the pace to match his speed of thought, meaning he is rarely caught out of position.
He is also a natural footballer, as his pass completion rate of 91% in Ligue 1 exhibits. Both these factors will be key at the Camp Nou, where often both full-backs bomb further up the pitch and Marquinhos would be required to play in a back three with Gerard Piqué and Sergio Busquets.
The potential signing of Marquinhos would also fit in with Barcelona's two other purchases, Marc-André ter Stegen - 22 - and Alen Halilovic, 17. They represent the future and highlight the fact that Barcelona are already planning for their next cycle under Luís Enrique, which is essential given their suspended transfer ban that is subject to appeal.
At the start of Barcelona's last successful cycle in 2008, the incoming manager, Pep Guardiola, chose to axe several senior members of the squad, notably Samuel Eto'o, Yaya Toure, Deco and Gianluca Zambrotta. Whilst Enrique is unlikely to be as forceful in his dismissals, it will still be intriguing to see who he views as dispensable.
Barcelona are staying true to their word and revamping an ageing squad. Marquinhos would fill the gap left by Carles Puyol, although no-one will be able to replace the former captain's standing amongst the supporters. Crucially, it finally means Barcelona can stop playing Javier Mascherano at centre-back.
The deal could be confirmed in the coming days, although it won't be the last bit of movement in or out of the Camp Nou this summer.
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