Last summer, Chelsea were linked with a big-money move for Roma’s teenage centre-back Marquinhos.
He may have only been 19 at the time, but a series of outstanding displays for the Italian side had forced the great and the good of football to take notice, with the Blues reportedly joined by Manchester City in terms of Premier League interest.
In the end, the Brazilian moved to Paris Saint-Germain for a reported £27million and many expected it to be the start of great things for the young star.
But just 12 months later, PSG have agreed a £40million deal to bring Chelsea’s David Luiz to the French capital, leaving the future of Marquinhos in some doubt.
That doubt has led Spanish newspaper AS to claim that Barcelona have re-entered the race for the teenager less than a year after missing out to PSG.
Luiz himself was tipped to move to the Nou Camp this summer, as a replacement for the retiring Carles Puyol. But instead he is destined for Ligue 1, leaving Barca still searching for at least one new centre-back.
AS claims Barca opted not to pursue their interest in Marquinhos last summer as they waited to see what happened with Puyol. But following the news that their legendary captain has hung up his boots, they could have the perfect opportunity to sign him now.
PSG have no need to do business, and given the defender’s age they may see him as an alternative for now and a regular for the future.
But his talent warrants more than that, and it could be that in missing out on Chelsea’s Luiz, Barcelona ultimately get a far better deal in the form of Marquinhos.