Roma central defender Marquinhos is available for a fee of around the £20 million mark, confirmed in the Catalan press.
The story has been sparked by a row with a radio station, where director of sport Walter Sabatini and general manager Claudio Fenucci were recorded having a conversation where they said the defender would be sold immediately for a fee in that region.
Manchester United probably have a slight advantage over Manchester city if they are serious about going after him because City’s former boss Roberto Mancini is no longer at the club.
Marquinhos was first linked with City during the Mancini era and while Manuel Pellegrini can’t have any doubts over the fact he’s a very good defender, he may not have the same level of interest in terms of bringing him to the club.
Barcelona have been linked with a defender for several months, with lots of high profile Premier League defenders all being suggested ahead of possible switches to the Nou Camp.
The report in Sport also suggests that Barcelona are aggressively pursuing their interest in the Brazilian, which makes things difficult for David Moyes at United because he’s just gone away with United on their pre-season tour of Asia.
There is a chance that Roma won’t let Marquinhos go without a fight and they hold all the chips over his future.
The fact they have just secured Tin Jedvaj is significant because he could be seen as a replacement but his age and inexperience means he may struggle to cope thrown in at the deep end of Serie A football.
United certainly have the resources to draw on should a bidding war break out against Barcelona but they have other options on the table should the fee start heading towards a poor piece of business.
The links over a move for Ezequiel Garay of Benfica haven’t quite gone away plus Moyes is fortunate to have several young defenders at the club, who can all follow in the footsteps of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand.
Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans already have very high and solid levels of Premier League experience but the theory in meeting or bettering any price for Marquinhos is very obvious.
He’s highly rated and has every skill in the book as far as what a top side will be looking for in a centre back. It’s just a question of how long until the official bids start flying around.
Where do you think Marquinhos will go? Should City revitalise their interest in him?
image: © Damien Cansse