Exclusive: Barcelona to exercise right to sign defender Marlon Santos

Joaquim Piera

Marlon Santos will be a Barcelona player before the end of 2016. SPORT have learned that if Barça will execute their option to sign him from Fluminense (fixed at six million euros) before he’s played five official first team games, they will save on an additional payment of two million euros. 

With the backing of the coaches at the club, including Luis Enrique and Gerard Lopez, the club will sign Marlon, on loan until the summer of 2017, without waiting for him to be promoted to the first team. 

To sign him now will cost the club two million euros, because Flu still owe the Catalan club four million euros from the money Barca paid to acquire the rights of various young players in 2015: 400,000 euros for the forward Kenedy, signed by Chelsea and now on loan at Watford; 3.2 million euros for midfielder Gerson, who Roma paid 15 million euros for plus more in variables; and 400.000 euros more for Marlon.

Marlon, 21, has been a regular since getting clearance to pay for Barça B. Injuries to Pique and Mathieu could open the door to the first team this weekend, with Mascherano and Umtiti the only fit central defenders. 

The Brazilian is not unknown to Luis Enrique. He impressed in preseason and was again good in Tuesday’s Catalan Super Cup game against Espanyol, despite the defeat. 

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