Wednesday 28 September 2016

United and Chelsea join chase for £40m Marquinhos

Jason Burt

Published 16/04/2016 | 02:30

Paris St Germain's Marquinhos celebrates during their Champions League Group F soccer match against Barcelona. Photo credit: REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
Paris St Germain's Marquinhos celebrates during their Champions League Group F soccer match against Barcelona. Photo credit: REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

Manchester United and Chelsea have both expressed interest in signing Paris St-Germain defender Marquinhos, who is valued at around ¤50m (£40m) by the French champions.

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PSG would prefer to negotiate a swap deal for the Brazilian international, who turns 22 next month, if they decide to sell this summer but are aware that he may be unsettled. Barcelona are also considering an offer.

United and Chelsea are monitoring the situation and have both been linked with Marquinhos in the past. Chelsea had a late offer for the highly-rated defender rejected last summer when their pursuit of John Stones failed.

PSG would still be reluctant to sell. A source suggested, however, that the club may be interested in a player-exchange rather than a cash deal given they want to reshape their squad.

PSG attempted to sign Memphis Depay before he moved to United. They may be less keen on the Dutch international now given his disappointing season. However, they have found with Angel Di Maria that the problems may lie at Old Trafford.

Similarly, PSG have expressed interest in the past in Chelsea midfielder Oscar and have recently been linked with Diego Costa, although the striker has set his heart on a return to Atletico Madrid.

Both United and Chelsea are in the market for commanding, ball-playing central defenders and Marquinhos fits the bill. Juventus' Leonardo Bonucci is the first choice of Chelsea's incoming manager Antonio Conte but he is unlikely to be sold.

Marquinhos has struggled for opportunities behind countrymen Thiago Silva and David Luiz. He has often been used at right-back. He became the most expensive teenager in world football when he joined PSG for £25m in 2013 from Roma.

PSG are prepared to make changes this summer with players such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Maxwell and Thiago Motta - all in their thirties - out of contract and poised to leave while Edinson Cavani is likely to be sold.

The Qatari-owned club are looking to invest in a younger squad built around Marco Verratti. Marquinhos is important to their plans although they understand he has become frustrated.

PSG will keep Laurent Blanc as their coach despite going out of the Champions League after he got his tactics wrong against Manchester City. (Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph.co.uk

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