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Report: PSG defender Marquinhos to formally request Barcelona transfer

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It looks as though Barcelona's number one signing for next season will indeed happen.

According to a report from Mundo Deportivo, Paris Saint-Germain defender Marquinhos will hand out a formal transfer request to his team after the last match of the season, the French Cup final against Marseille. The Brazilian is specifically interested in moving to Barcelona, and will make it clear to his bosses, who are expected to accept the player's request and start negotiations.

Marquinhos is Barça's biggest priority for the summer transfer window. Coach Luis Enrique asked sporting director Robert Fernández to sign a young defender with speed, versatility and passing skills to fit his system and play alongside Gerard Piqué and Javier Mascherano in the next few seasons. Enrique wants a player with potential to anchor the Blaugrana defense in the next several years, and he identified Marquinhos as his target.

The 21-year-old has been linked with Barça for a number of years, and had even agreed a personal deal before the 2014 World Cup. But PSG blocked the move and promised Marquinhos he would get more opportunities. Two years later, he's still a backup to David Luiz and Thiago Silva, and his only chances in the starting lineup are at right-back, a position he can play, but is not his favorite.

Marquinhos has a clear desire to join the Catalan giants, who are prepared to pay the €40 million asking price from PSG, although they will try to bring the fee down a bit. Considering PSG is the toughest club to negotiate with, they won't let the player leave if they don't get the money they want, but Barça are willing to do anything to secure the deal.

If the reports are accurate, Marquinhos will be a Barcelona player next season.