Arsenal have agreed personal terms with 19-year-old winger Marquinhos, as they look to exploit his unusual contract situation at Sao Paulo.
Jorge Nicola reports that Arsenal have made a proposal to 19-year-old Marquinhos of Sao Paulo, and they’ve even agreed on a salary and contract length with him.
Arsenal are reportedly willing to spend €3m to bring the player to North London, and Sao Paulo president Julio Casares is trying to negotiate a sell-on clause.
Under normal circumstances, those in Brazil believe Marquinhos would be worth much more than €3m. Nicola claims the player should be worth at least five times that amount. But his contract situation is complicated.
When Marquinhos signed his first professional deal in 2019, he agreed a five-year deal with Sao Paulo.
That length of contract is allowed by the Brazilian Football Confederation, but FIFA do not recognise first professional contracts longer than three years.
That’s why Arsenal have had to extend deals with players like Bukayo Saka so soon after their first-team breakthrough.
It’s not that the Gunners didn’t want Saka under contract for longer, they just weren’t allowed to hand him a five-year deal in 2018. Instead, they had to give him a three-year deal to 2021 and then extend it later – as they did in 2020.
So according to FIFA, Marquinhos is out of contract this summer, and Sao Paulo have been unable to convince him to extend.
That leads to a strange situation where the young winger is technically under contract according to his local federation, but that contract wouldn’t hold up if put to FIFA. The simplest solution for Sao Paulo is to sell cheap.
Arsenal are clearly trying to take advantage and bring in a player who has already made well over 30 senior appearances at the age of 19.
A left-footed right-winger, you’d imagine Marquinhos would initially go out on loan if he signed, to ensure Saka doesn’t block him from regular senior football.