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Manchester United are growing confident of signing Paris St Germain defender Marquinhos, according to latest reports from Sport. The Red Devils are clearly in the market for a new defender, and they have been linked with players of various clubs across European football. United have even been linked with a move for former defender Michael Keane, who is out of contract in less than 12 months at Burnley. The 24-year-old will cost around £25million – just a few years after he moved to Burnley – and it seems like the defensive strengthening may not stop with Keane.

Marquinhos has been a top transfer target for some big European clubs in recent years. However, Paris St Germain has so far been reluctant to sell the player. Regarded as one of the finest central defenders in European football, Marquinhos has the ability to plug any leaky defence. He joined PSG in a £27million deal from Roma in 2013. PSG, however, are ready to let him go for around £60million (Sport).

Marquinhos will be out of contract in June 2019 and it places a lot of pressure on PSG to either offer him a new deal or sell him in the summer. The French club will be aware that selling him next summer will allow clubs to sign him for a much lower fee than his transfer evaluation. We may have finished in a disappointing 6th place, but we have the possibility of qualifying for the Champions League next season by winning the Europa League on Wednesday night. The game against Ajax in the final of the competition is a great way to qualify directly for the group stages of the competition.

Qualification to the Europe’s top competition is absolutely essential in order to attract players like Marquinhos. We can be almost sure of Keane’s return to Old Trafford, but making a signing like Marquinhos is a totally different proposition. At just 23 years of age, Marquinhos has the capability to form a spectacular partnership with Eric Bailly in central defence. Apart from being capable of playing on either side of the central defence, Marquinhos can also play as a right-back if needed.

Marquinhos made the switch to European football in January 2013 after signing from Corinthians for around £3.9million. The defender made 29 appearances in the league this season and scored 3 goals.