Fabrizio Romano reported yesterday night that discussions between Arsenal and Sao Paulo for Brazilian winger Marquinhos were ongoing, with specifics remaining to be worked out before a formal agreement.
However, things are now moving swiftly.
Globo Esporte in Brazil stated that Sao Paulo had accepted an offer from Arsenal for €3.5 million, while UOL reported that Marquinhos had been sold.
Both reports agreed that the winger was no longer on Sao Paulo’s roster for their next encounter.
According to UOL, Arsenal’s €3.5 million acquisition was essentially a gift of goodwill to establish a connection between the two clubs, as they could have signed him on a free transfer.
More on it in a moment.
Back on the other side of the Atlantic, Romano reports this morning that Arsenal is drafting papers to finalize the Marquinhos move.
When the deal is completed, they will pay €3.5 million in advance.
Arsenal have agreed to recruit Marquinhos, according to Goal’s Charles Watts, after prolonged discussions with Sao Paulo this week.
Watts cites a sum of £3 million and adds that personal terms will not be a problem.
The adolescent has been signed as a future player, but he may get an opportunity in preseason.
Arsenal is still hoping to add two veteran attackers to the Marquinhos deal.
Under normal conditions, Brazilians feel Marquinhos is worth far more than €3.5 million.
According to Jorge Nicola, the player is worth at least five times that much.
However, his contractual condition is problematic.
Marquinhos committed to a five-year contract with Sao Paulo when he signed his first professional contract in 2019.
The Brazilian Football Confederation allows for that length of contract, however FIFA does not recognize first professional contracts greater than three years.
So, according to FIFA, Marquinhos’ contract expires this summer, and Sao Paulo have been unable to persuade him to extend it.
As a result, the teenage winger is theoretically under contract with his local federation, but that contract would be null and void if presented to FIFA.
Sao Paulo’s easiest approach was to sell cheaply.
Arsenal might have tried to acquire Marquinhos for free in the summer, but it would have been complicated, and the opportunity to get the player without a cost would have surely piqued the interest of others.
The Gunners have instead chosen for a low sum in order to complete the transaction and establish a connection with Sao Paulo, who will be thankful for anything at all.
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