Report: Nice president claims £18m bid made for West Ham target Marlon Santos

Manchester City's Chilean manager Manuel Pellegrini gestures during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north...

Premier League duo West Ham United and Leicester City are reportedly keen on Marlon Santos - who has been on loan at Nice from Barca.

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,...

West Ham fans were rightly disgusted by the treatment of James Collins, the long-serving defender who was released after a decade of loyal service without ceremony or even a testimonial.

But at least supporters can take comfort in knowing that a club frequently accused of lacking ambition seem intent on replacing a 34-year-old with a far younger model.

According to The Mail, West Ham are interested in Barcelona’s 22-year-old Brazilian Marlon Santos, who impressed during a loan spell at Nice last season.

Gimnastic's defender Xavi Molina (L) vies with Barcelona's Brazilian defender Marlon Santos during the friendly football match between Club Gimnastic de Tarragona SAD and FC Barcelona at...

It is understood that Marlon, who moved to the Camp Nou from Fluminense in 2016 but has made just two La Liga appearances since, faces an uncertain future at Barca. And, according to The Sun, Leicester City are also keen on the £18 million-rated former Brazil U20 ace.

And, speaking to Nice Martin, Nice president Jean-Pierre Riviere has confirmed that an £18 million offer has been made for Marlon. The talented centre-back is halfway through a two-year loan spell in France but seems unlikely to return to Nice next season now.

Barcelona have received a 20 million euros offer for Marlon, so he should leave OGC Nice,” Riviere told Nice-Matin of Marlon, who started 22 Ligue 1 games last season as Nice finished eighth under the new Dortmund boss Lucian Favre.

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.

It remains to be seen, however, whether the offer came from West Ham or Leicester.

An excellent passer of the ball who boasts impressive athleticism and speed across the ground, Marlon would be an excellent investment for West Ham and a big upgrade on Collins.

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