Let's talk about the rumour -- I'm sure you've all seen it circling the Twittersphere today, or perhaps you've read it in a newspaper, or on another website. It's all that some seem to want to talk about -- the reports suggesting that FC Barcelona are closing in on a deal to bring Marquinhos to the Camp Nou. Last week's signing of David Luiz appeared to suggest that Marquinhos' time at PSG was coming to an end, just a season after the Parisians parted with €31.4 million to pry the young Brazilian centre-half from AS Roma. Now, beIN Sports are reporting that a deal could be confirmed in the imminent future.
The only catch? FC Barcelona are said to be sending Dani Alves in the other direction. The legendary Brazilian full-back has been a loyal servant to the Blaugrana since his arrival in 2008 as one of the first signing's of the Pep Guardiola era, but with his contract coming to an end, Alves is rumoured to be considering his alternatives. Apparently, Barcelona are all too happy to allow him the opportunity to do so.
The fee is anyone's guess, heck, this is still a rumour after all. The suggestion is that FC Barcelona will only pay an additional €20 million -- although to me, the whole deal seems excessive. In fact, it seems awfully familiar -- back in 2009, Barcelona parted with another ageing star, a true club legend who had his eye on other clubs and didn't quite conform to the club's "squeaky-clean" persona. He spoke his mind, and that put him at odds with club officials.
The end result? A hideous deal that saw the Blaugrana sign Zlatan Ibrahimovic; an optimistic experiment gone wrong. Would this deal have a similar ending? Probably not, but there must be a better alternative. Question Paris Saint-Germain's transfer policy all you like -- they actually have a decent track record. Thiago Silva, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ezequiel Lavezzi, even Maxwell. Recent history is littered with intelligent buys from the PSG management. Marquinhos however, probably isn't one of them.
The fee was inflated, but that's not a problem for a club like PSG. The real problem was that Marquinhos never lived up to the promise. This was a player tipped for the big time, a centre-half that had the potential to be the next Thiago Silva. The future of the Brazilian backline, but for one reason or another, Marquinhos couldn't establish himself at the Parc des Princes.
While he was supposed to partner Thiago Silva, he couldn't displace Alex. He was praised for his versatility, but again, he couldn't start ahead of Christophe Jallet. In total, Marquinhos played just six minutes over two legs against Chelsea FC in the UEFA Champions League quarter-final. He was left on the bench for the Ligue Un trip to title rivals AS Monaco, and the same fate awaited Marquinhos in the Coupe de la Ligue final against Lyon. Laurent Blanc didn't trust him -- and neither did Luiz Scolari.
A brief substitute appearance against Honduras aside, Marquinhos has rarely featured for the national team. When Scolari announced his squad for the upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup, Marquinhos was omitted. Former Barcelona reject Henrique however made the cut. And yet, FC Barcelona have reportedly decided that Marquinhos is worth the trouble. Discarding a club legend without a second thought, and rubbing salt into the wound with an necessary financial incentive for PSG to take the deal.
Marquinhos is still young, but so is Marc Bartra. Gerard Pique isn't exactly geriatric, while the academy potentially have a few gems in the pipeline. If we really are so keen to sign a young central defender, why not look at Angelo Balanta? For a club that prides itself on supporting local talent, this deal would represent yet another unwelcome step in the wrong direction. Marquinhos had his chance to join FC Barcelona, and he declined. It's time we moved on, and gave that chance to someone else instead.
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