Sao Paulo president Julio Casares has confirmed they tried everything to keep Arsenal-bound Marquinhos, but he didn’t want to stay.
With the growing reports of a permanent transfer for Sao Paulo 19-year-old Marquinhos to Arsenal this summer, club president Julio Casares has admitted the winger was pushing for the move.
“He didn’t want to stay, we tried everything,” Casares said. “Even before the game against Racing, where he blew up, he didn’t want to stay. It was a contractual issue, that he had this condition.”
Casares is referring to Marquinhos’ breakthrough game against Racing Club last July, when he put himself on the map with a goal and an assist in the last-16 of the Copa Libertadores.
It seems Marquinhos wanted a move even then, and he’s finally getting his wish.
Goal report that Arsenal have finalised the last details of Marquinhos’ transfer, and the player flew into England on Thursday to complete the deal. He’s already visited London Colney to undergo a medical.
Goal add that confirmation of the deal is expected shortly, with Arsenal set to pay a fee of £3m.
Fabrizio Romano wrote earlier this week that an official statement will soon be released to confirm the transfer of the Sao Paulo winger.
A left-footed player who primarily features on the right, Marquinhos has already made 40 senior appearances for Sao Paulo, despite only turning 19 last month.
Marquinhos is set to sign a five-year deal to join the Gunners until 2027.
Various reports suggest the teenager is being signed as one for the future, though he could get a chance to impress in pre-season.
Arsenal are still looking to bring in two senior forwards on top of the Marquinhos deal.
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.
As a result, 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 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.