Barcelona confirmed the signing of defender Marlon Santos on loan from Fluminense on Friday.

The Catalan club has an option to buy the central defender for a reported fee of €5M for the duration of the loan. SPORT had reported a few weeks earlier that the defender’s agent, Fred Moraes was in Barcelona to negotiate the deal which would see the defender play for the B side.

The report had also stated that there were other European clubs, mostly from Serie A, ready to grab the 20-year old in case talks with Barcelona cooled down. However, the Spanish Champions have beaten the other European clubs to the signing.

The 20-year old has successfully passed his medical at Barcelona and will be available for the pre-season training and matches for the B side coached by Gerard Lopez.

Marlon Santos da Silva Barbosa is a 20-year old Brazilian central defender who rose up through the ranks at Fluminense. The player has gathered international experience playing for Brazil at various age groups and has been hailed in Brazil as the next Thiago Silva.

Barcelona had earlier paid €3.2m to Fluminense for preferential rights on three of their players — Marlon Santos, Kenedy and Gerson. This means that if Barcelona were to exercise their right to sign the 20-year old at any point during the loan spell, the Catalan side would have to pay only €1.8m to the Brazilian club.

The defender played a pivotal role in Brazil U-20's final run at the U-20 World Championships in 2015
The central defender played a pivotal role in Brazil U-20’s final run at the U-20 World Championships in 2015.

Marlon was a regular for the national U-20 side that reached the final of the U-20 World Championships in 2015, ultimately losing to Serbia in the finals. The 20-year old has made 71 senior appearances for Fluminense but found it hard to establish himself last season ahead of the centre-back pairing of Henrique and Gum.

Marlon Santos will get the chance to get a feel of European football while playing in the Liga Segunda with Barcelona B. The B side has produced many great footballers with some of them graduating to the Barcelona senior squad or securing a transfer to some other European club. The Brazilian-born defender would be looking to follow in their footsteps and establish his name in European football in the coming years.

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