Manchester United have opened talks with Paris Saint-Germain over their 20-year-old centre-half Marquinhos according to reports in the Telegraph.
The Brazilian has been exciting Europe’s biggest clubs ever since he barged his way straight into the Roma first team as a still-wet-behind-the-ears 18-year-old in 2012/13.
At the end of that breakout campaign both United and Barcelona were linked with moves for his services, however it was Paris Saint Germain who came up with the £30m required to prise him away from the Giallorossi.
Marquinhos’ calm and collected attitude to passing the ball out from the back has been one of the main feathers in his cap, while his reading of the game and positioning are also impressive.
His ascent has stalled somewhat at the Parc des Princes, with a host of his fellow countrymen barring his way to an undisputed starting spot.
In 2013/14 he was unable to definitively displace former Chelsea stalwart Alex – despite this Barca made a bid for him once again during the summer.
Perhaps as a result he missed the cut for Luiz Felipe Scolari’s Brazil squad in the World Cup last summer.
This season the big-money arrival of David Luiz has further hampered his claims on a place in the starting XI when both are fit.
Standing at a fairly reedy 6ft Marquinhos is not the most physically intimidating of centre-halves and he has won an average of 1.1 aerial duels per game in Ligue 1 this term in comparison with Silva’s 3.7 and Luiz’s 2.1.
Conversely he leads his countrymen and indeed the entire Parisens squad for interceptions, suggesting he’s more than an equal for them when it comes to reading the game.
What’s more PSG have lost just two of the 39 games in which he has started for the club, suggesting his presence is far from detrimental to Laurent Blanc’s plans.
Only the French champions really know why it was deemed necessary to acquire the almost universally lampooned Luiz rather than promote Marquinhos.
As of now he remains as long as 4/1 to join the Old Trafford club before the end of the winter transfer window.