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Marquinhos linked with Old Trafford move, but Chelsea and Barcelona retain interest

Manchester United have been linked to many central defenders this season already and will continue to me linked to many more as that is one of the main positions which manager Jose Mourinho will need to strengthen in the summer. The injuries suffered by both Phil Jones and Chris Smalling, which have happened consistently for the last six and seven seasons respectively, will push Mourinho into looking for better quality defenders who can maintain their fitness and aim to avoid injuries. Paris Saint-Germain central defender Marquinhos is a player who has been linked with the Old Trafford club before but is also linked to Chelsea and Barcelona, who seem to be interested in fortifying their defensive line, so they will most likely see themselves linked to similar players throughout the summer also.

What is being reported and by who?

The Mirror only last week reported that United were increasingly confident of landing the 22-year-old Brazilian defender this summer with a £50 million fee touted. The report, written by David McDonnell also stated that Mourinho has doubts over both Jones and Smalling, which has been seen by the criticism of the two running up to their return to training ahead of the semi-final first leg in the UEFA Europa League against Celta Vigo. The Metro also had their own report on the situation, citing a £59 million transfer fee, which is where these transfer rumours seem to turn into Chinese whispers. Calciomercato suggested that both Chelsea and United were ready to swoop for the player this summer. This report carried quotes from the player surrounding his contractual situation in Paris, saying:

“It [a new deal] does not depend on me only, let’s see what will happen. I feel part of this project but you have to see if the manager and the president want me to stay. I am in no rush because my contract expires in 2019. I am a player of PSG and I am feeling a Parisian. I love this club and I love what they’ve done for me.”

The Express cite Barcelona, as well as United and Chelsea having a firm interest in the player, crediting their story to Telefoot in France, which seems to be the source of most rumours over the last week or so. A £50 million fee is quoted in this report, which differs from the £59 million the Metro suggest, but also the £55 million fee that The Sun suggest in their report. Right now, the one common thing here is that Marquinhos could leave Paris Saint-Germain in the summer, leaving for Manchester United, Chelsea or Barcelona. It is likely that a new contract will be signed, also. The fact the player’s quotes suggest he loves the city of Paris and what the Parisian club have done for him. That sounds like he wants to be loyal.

What type of player is Marquinhos?

Marquinhos is a robust and fierce defender, one who has put his body on the line for his club. This will be an attribute that Mourinho will be looking for with Eric Bailly and Marcos Rojo being the pairing worth their weight in gold this season, but having them would not be enough, especially with the injuries in defence this season. Daley Blind has been a good partner to Bailly, but a central defender may not be his best position, which will either release him to strengthen United’s midfield, or even the left-back role, which has been a problem this season. Marquinhos is a talented and versatile defender, at 22, he has gone a long way in the game. Marquinhos may be interested in playing in the Premier League, which is one of the toughest league’s in Europe, which could bode well for his development. Manchester United may not be seen as the best test for him at this moment in time, but looking ahead at the project the club has to offer, could be something that may allure the player, especially with the exciting times ahead under Mourinho, who has brought exciting football back, at times, this season.

Likelihood of the transfer?

I seem to get the impression that Marquinhos wants to remain with PSG this summer. As stated above his quotes about his contractual situation, he sounds like he wants to remain loyal to his club, or at least that is the way he wants to perceive himself in the public eye, which is not a bad way to see the fruits on offer to remain a Parisian, comparing them with what he could be offered to leave for Old Trafford, Stamford Bridge or the Camp Nou, or any other destination he may be linked to between now and the closure of the transfer window towards the summer’s end. The thing that remains is that United will be looking for a competent central defender, or two this summer, so whether that is Marquinhos or someone else, that remains to be seen. Would you like to see Marquinhos at the Theatre of Dreams this summer? Let us know in the comments below.

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