Arsenal’s attempts to sign Sao Paulo’s Marquinhos have progressed quickly, and the Gunners are now set to finalise the deal.

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL: Marquinhos of Sao Paulo controls the ball during the match between Sao Paulo and Santos as part of Brasileirao Series A 2022 at Morumbi Stadium on May 02, 2022. (Photo by Ricardo Moreira/Getty Images)
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL: Marquinhos of Sao Paulo controls the ball during the match between Sao Paulo and Santos as part of Brasileirao Series A 2022 at Morumbi Stadium on May 02, 2022. (Photo by Ricardo Moreira/Getty Images)

Just last night, Fabrizio Romano wrote that talks were ongoing between Arsenal and Sao Paulo for Brazilian winger Marquinhos, with details still to discuss before a full agreement. But things are now moving quickly.

Brazilian outlet Globo Esporte reported that Sao Paulo had accepted an Arsenal offer of €3.5m, and UOL wrote that Marquinhos had been sold.

Both outlets agreed that the winger was no longer part of Sao Paulo’s list of players for their next game.

UOL add that Arsenal’s €3.5m purchase was effectively a gesture of goodwill to build a relationship between the two clubs, as they might have been able to sign him on a free transfer. More on that later.

Back across the Atlantic, Romano writes this morning that Arsenal are now preparing paperwork to complete the Marquinhos deal. They’ll pay €3.5m upfront once the sale goes through.

Goal’s Charles Watts reports that Arsenal have indeed agreed a deal to sign Marquinhos, following extensive talks with Sao Paulo this week.

Watts reports a fee of £3m, and adds that personal terms aren’t expected to be an issue. The teenager is being signed as one for the future, though he could get a chance in pre-season.

Arsenal are still looking to bring in two senior forwards on top of the Marquinhos deal.

Brazil's Sao Paulo Marquinhos (R) celebrates with teammate Rodrigo Nestor after scoring the team's third goal against Bolivia's Jorge Wilstermann during their Copa Sudamericana group stage football match at the Felix Capriles stadium in Cochabamba, Bolivia, on April 28, 2022. (Photo by FERNANDO CARTAGENA/AFP via Getty Images)
Brazil’s Sao Paulo Marquinhos (R) celebrates with teammate Rodrigo Nestor after scoring the team’s third goal against Bolivia’s Jorge Wilstermann during their Copa Sudamericana group stage football match at the Felix Capriles stadium in Cochabamba, Bolivia, on April 28, 2022. (Photo by FERNANDO CARTAGENA/AFP via Getty Images)

Under normal circumstances, those in Brazil believe Marquinhos would be worth much more than €3.5m. Jorge 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.

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 was to sell cheap.

Arsenal could have attempted to sign Marquinhos for free in the summer, but it might have ended up getting messy, and the chance to bring the player without a fee would likely have attracted attention from others.

The Gunners have instead opted for a minimal fee to get the signing done and build a relationship with Sao Paulo, who will be grateful to get anything at all.

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Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.