The transfer of Marquinhos from Sao Paulo to Arsenal has taken a twist as Wolves are preparing a legal challenge against the move.

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)

The Daily Mail report that Marquinhos had signed a pre-contract agreement to join Wolves in the summer before Sao Paulo decided to offer him to Arsenal.

Arsenal quickly wrapped up a deal, but Wolves believe their agreement with Marquinhos is legally binding. They’re reportedly taking legal advice on the matter, with the Mail claiming they’re considering action against Sao Paulo, Arsenal, and the player.

The story initially broke in Brazil, with Jorge Nicola reporting (via Sport Witness) that Wolves were set to present a legal complaint against the player.

Nicola claimed the deal for Marquinhos to join Arsenal was still going ahead, and that Wolves weren’t taking action against Sao Paulo or Arsenal – contrary to the Mail’s claims.

It would certainly be strange if Wolves took action against Arsenal. The Gunners had no way of knowing what contract Marquinhos allegedly signed with Wolves, and they haven’t announced the deal or paid for the transfer yet.

From Arsenal’s point of view, they came to an agreement with Sao Paulo for a player Sao Paulo claimed was up for sale.

If Wolves can prove their contract is legally binding, Arsenal might have to give up on that deal for the player, but it’s hard to see the legal grounds for punishment.

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)

This is the second bizarre complication in Marquinhos’ transfer.

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 were 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 was to sell cheap.

Arsenal opted to pay a minimal fee to get the signing done and build a relationship with Sao Paulo, but it looks like Wolves were waiting for the free transfer.

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