What’s the story?
Barcelona have decided to make the loan deal for Marlon Santos a permanent one, according to his agent Fred Moraes. Moraes, speaking to Radio Barcelona confirmed, “"It's been done for a while -- everything is finalised between Barca and Fluminense”.
However, there seems to be still a lingering doubt whether he will be staying at Catalunya next season or be going on loan to another club. “The next thing now is to speak with the club, with [Barca directors] Andre Cury in Brazil and with Raul Sanllehi, to see what's best for next season”, he added.
“The club have already decided [to make the deal permanent], but there's still a decision to be made moving forward”, he continued.
However, Marlon’s agent also added that his client is very committed to Barcelona and would like to be at Camp Nou for a long time, “Our idea is for Marlon to stay at Barcelona for many years and to continue learning, as he's doing at the moment”, he said.
He will cost Barcelona a fee around €6 million.
In case you didn’t know..
Marlon had signed on a one-year loan deal from Fluminense last July and made his debut in the Champions League against Scottish side Celtic. Although not afforded a lot of opportunities during the course of the season, he has been impressive for Barcelona B.
He made his La Liga debut in Barcelona’s last fixture against Las Palmas and completed 90 minutes, in a 4-1 win where his compatriot Neymar scored a hat-trick.
The heart of the matter
In the game against Las Palmas, Marlon’s obvious talent was there for everyone to see. With Barcelona’s transfer policy being short-sighted (at best) in the last two to three years, they’ve been left exposed at the back.
“I want to congratulate Marlon because it is not easy playing for the first team, away from home in those circumstances”, Barcelona captain Andres Iniesta told their official website, “He is training and playing with us because he has what it takes”. High praise indeed.
Whoever comes in as the new manager at Barcelona will undoubtedly look to strengthen the backline and get rid of some deadwood. It remains to be seen that if the new manager sees Marlon as a first team player right from the start, or he decides to loan out the 21-year-old.
After his debut against Celtic, it was practically a foregone conclusion that Barcelona would sign the Brazilian on a permanent. Undoubtedly a very good signing.