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Reports: Barcelona ready to break world record for Javier Mascherano's replacement

Sripad
SENIOR ANALYST
Rumors
27 May 2017, 12:58 IST
SOLNA, SWEDEN - AUGUST 03: Javier Mascherano of FC Barcelona during the Pre-Season Friendly between Leicester City FC and FC Barcelona at Friends arena on August 3, 2016 in Solna, Sweden. (Photo by Nils Petter Nilsson/Ombrello/Getty Images)

What’s the story?

Barcelona have set their sights on signing Marquinhos this summer according to Daily Star. The Paris Saint-Germain defender has been on the radar of the Catalan side for a long time and is now one of their top priorities for the transfer window.

The next Barcelona manager, who is reportedly Ernesto Valverde, is said to be the force behind this move. PSG are willing to listen to offers for the Brazilian centre-back but want at least £70 million for him – a world record fee for a defender.

In case you didn’t know...

The world-record fee for a defender is shared by David Luiz and John Stones. Paris Saint-Germain paid £50 million to Chelsea to secure the signing of Luiz while Manchester City were forced to pay the same fee to land Stones from Everton last summer.

Javier Mascherano is in his 30’s now and Barcelona want to sign a long-term replacement for him. They had a list of potential targets but have narrowed it down the Brazilian defender.

The heart of the matter

Mascherano signed a two-year extension back in November but his departure from Nou Camp isn’t too far away. The Argentine is expected to remain at the club next season but will be sold if they receive a solid offer.

Marquinhos has been a target for Barcelona ever since he was replaced by David Luiz in the PSG starting XI. The Catalan side have launched bids for him several times before but the French giants rebuffed it all the time.

However, Unai Emery is now ready to sell the defender to fund moves for 2-3 players. The Ligue 1 side is demanding £70 million for the defender who is also a target for Real Madrid and Manchester United.

Jose Mourinho has reportedly asked the Red Devils to sign him up at any cost but their primary target remains Antonie Griezmann. Should they spend £86 million on him, they will back out of the race for Marquinhos.

What’s next?

Barcelona are willing to break the bank for Marquinhos as the club want to get back to winning ways next season. They lost the league title to Real Madrid and were knocked out of the Champions League by Juventus.

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The board want to give Valverde all the support he needs and also sign the players he wants in his squad. They are reportedly willing to spend nearly £250 million this summer.

Author’s take

It’s no surprise that Marquinho’s is a target for Barcelona. He is young and brilliant on the ball. The defender is seen as the next Thiago Silva in Brazil but the player is not in te plans of Unai Emery at PSG.

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