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.
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.
At least West Ham have signed a promising young centre-back this summer already, paying a club-record £25 million for Issa Diop.
@WHUFC_News_6 Looks like Marlon is now off to Southampton because we have taken to long!!— Adam Wills (@adamtimothywill) July 1, 2018
Good he’s useless— ben (@bena32123) June 29, 2018
Wasted if he goes to Southampton, should 100% join the bubbles— Smithy #i63 (@Smithy_TV) June 30, 2018
'Stalling, whilst looking elsewhere' = the Sullivan scattergun system.— TransPennineIrons (@transpennineWHU) June 30, 2018
Or that in the meeting today they realised he was the easiest defender to get out of the targets so thought lets take a punt. Should it work on out and he improves then his value could soar or being 22 can at least make our money back— Mike Hare (@mhare641) June 29, 2018
I’d prefer Marlon to any other because he is young and has potential— (@Lanzxini) June 29, 2018