'Wasted': West Ham fans react as Southampton reportedly agree fee for Marlon

David Sullivan, West Ham owner and David Gold, West Ham chairman look on during the Premier League match between Burnley and West Ham United at Turf Moor on May 21, 2017 in Burnley,...

Southampton are reportedly set to land Barcelona centre-back Marlon Santos after Premier League rivals West Ham United seemingly cooled their interest.

Marlon Santos of FC Barcelona shoots during the International Champions Cup match between Leicester City FC and FC Barcelona at Friends arena on August 3, 2016 in Solna, Sweden.

For weeks, it looked as if Marlon Santos was on his way to West Ham United.

Mundo Deportivo had reported that the Hammers were leading the chase to sign the Brazilian centre-back from La Liga champions Barcelona. Now, Marlon appears to be closer than ever to a move to England, but not with West Ham.

In a surprising turn of events, Premier League rivals Southampton now seem to be in pole position to sign the 22-year-old, who spent last season on loan in France with Nice. The Mirror is reporting that the Saints have even agreed a £10 million fee to sign Marlon, who could finally fill the void left by Virgil van Dijk’s departure to Liverpool last January.

Nice's Brazilian defender Santos Marlon reacts during the French L1 football match Nice vs Lyon at The 'Allianz Riviera' Stadium in Nice, southeastern France on November 26, 2017.

The potential deal always looked in danger as soon as the Guardian claimed West Ham had doubts about whether Marlon, who is relatively short for a centre-back at 5ft 9ins, had the physicality to thrive in English football.

But, should the former Brazil U20 ace shine at Southampton and show why Barcelona bought him two years ago, this would look like a massive mistake on West Ham’s part; particularly on the back of countless transfer market mistakes in recent seasons.

Nice's Brasilian defender Santos Marlon (R) vies with Lazio's forward from Equador Felipe Caicedo (L) during the UEFA Europa League football match between Nice and Lazio on October 19,...

At least West Ham have signed a promising young centre-back this summer already, paying a club-record £25 million for Issa Diop.

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