Monday’s transfer deadline day came and passed without Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal signing the top class centre-back that many believed that he needs to finish in the top three this season.
Le10Sport in France reported on Monday that Paris Saint-Germain had rejected a £35 million bid for 22-year-old centre-back Marquinhos. It was always very unlikely that PSG would accept any offer, no matter how big, and now the defender is set to continue in the Parisian defence as they try to reach their second straight Coupe de la Ligue final.
On the back of an Edinson Cavani double, PSG beat Lyon 2-0 in last year’s final, and they face Lille on Tuesday at the Stade Pierre Mauroy for a place in this season’s final.
Marquinhos’ agent had made it clear in an interview early in the month, that his client just wanted more time on the pitch. Laurent Blanc, due to an injury to Gregory van der Wiel, has granted that request. Marquinhos has played at right-back in the last few games, it may not be his preferred position, but it added an extra layer of protection to the PSG back-line.
With his Portuguese-speaking captain, Thiago Silva, beside him, Marquinhos has looked superb and well-accustomed to the right-back role and PSG have finally stopped conceding sloppy goals. Silva looks to have improved with the younger Brazilian beside him.
Taking on Lille, the team with the worst goal-scoring record in Ligue 1, won’t be the biggest test PSG will face this season, but signs of improvement are beginning to show from the northern side. Divock Origi, on loan from Liverpool for the rest of the season, is back to full fitness and he could start on Tuesday.
The Belgian international should be keen to impress on the big stage, any goal against PSG to lead Lille to a cup final will see him return to favour with the home fans. However, to do that, the 19-year-old will have to find a way past Marquinhos.
Manchester United will likely be linked with the Brazilian again in the summer, and if he continues to impress during tonight’s game, there’s little doubt they won't be the only team keeping a closer eye on the 22-year-old.
Probable XIs: Lille v PSG
Lille: 4-3-1-2 – Enyeama – Corchia, Kjaer, Basa, Sidibé – Mavuba, Balmont, Delaplace – Lopes – Koubemba, Origi
PSG: 4-3-3 – Douchez – Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, David Luiz, Maxwell – Verratti, Thiago Motta, Matuidi – Lucas, Lavezzi, Ibrahimovic