Manchester United transfer target Marquinhos: We profile PSG's highly-rated defender

Manchester United have been told they'll have to pay £112m for him. Barcelona, Manchester City and Arsenal have been linked with him in the past. So who is PSG's defensive star?

We take a closer look at Brazil defender Marquinhos, who could be in line to become the most expensive player in the world... 

Name: Marquinhos (Marcos Aoas Correa)
Age: 20
Position: Centre-back
Club: PSG
Nation: Brazil (four caps)

Marquinhos’ rise to the top level of world football has been nothing short of meteoric.

After making just six league appearances for boyhood club Corinthians and looking on from the bench as they won the 2012 Copa Libertadores, the Sao Paulo native was snapped up by Serie A giants Roma in a 3m euro deal at the age of 18.

The then-Brazil U17 captain played 26 times in his debut season in Europe, helping Roma to the Coppa Italia final, and earned plaudits from club legend and compatriot Aldair.

Marquinhos of Roma during the Serie A match between AS Roma and Parma FC at Stadio Olimpico on March 17, 2013 in Rome, Italy.
Image: Marquinhos impressed for Roma

"At the young age he is at, he has impressed me when he has played at the Olimpico," the former Roma defender, who won Serie A with the club in 2000/01, said at the time. "Marquinhos is fast and responsive and has the right mentality."

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Big-money move

Such was Marquinhos’ impact at Roma, PSG signed him for 31.4m euros in July 2013 – a remarkable sum for a player with just 32 senior league appearances to his name.

The transfer made Marquinhos the fifth-most expensive defender of all time but, unfazed, he immediately made his mark with the French club, scoring on his debut in a Champions League game at Olympiacos.

Marquinhos played 21 times in Ligue 1 as PSG wrapped up their second successive title and added the Coupe de la Ligue for a memorable double in 2013/14.

“He has huge potential and can get even better,” said PSG and Brazil teammate Thiago Silva.

International recognition

Marquinhos of Brazil during the Toulon Tournament Group B match between Brazil and Qatar at the Leo Legrange Stadium on May 30, 2
Image: Marquinhos has four Brazil caps

Brazil boss Luiz Felipe Scolari called up Marquinhos in November 2013, and the defender made his first appearance for his country’s senior side in a friendly against Honduras.

Marquinhos then returned to Brazil’s U20 side to help them win the 2014 Toulon tournament - scoring in the final - but missed out on a spot at the World Cup.

However, following the hosts’ humbling in the summer, Marquinhos was selected by new Selecao boss Dunga as part of a new-look Brazil squad in the autumn, and seems set to play a key part in their 2015 Copa America campaign.

Transfer target

The centre-back – who made a late substitute appearance against Chelsea in last season’s Champions League quarter-final second leg – has previously been linked with Barcelona, Manchester City and Arsenal.

However, with David Luiz and Silva ahead of him in the pecking order at the Parc des Princes, it seems Manchester United could be set to bid for the talented youngster.

"They are looking at Marquinhos," Sky Sports News reporter James Cooper said last week. "He is certainly somebody who is on United's radar."

Whether Louis van Gaal is prepared to meet PSG's asking price remains to be seen, but Cooper is adamant there will be big money spent by United, either this month or in the summer.

"There may be a degree of patience this January in terms of spending but I think the summer is going to be spectacular again," he said. "There is an awful lot of money to spend and there is a list of players."

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