Barcelona eye permanent deal for Brazilian defender Santos

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Rio de Janeiro, Dec 18 (IANS) Barcelona have begun negotiations with Brazil’s Fluminense to secure a permanent deal for on-loan defender Marlon Santos, according to media reports.

The 21-year-old centre-back is said to have impressed Barcelona coach Luis Enrique since joining the Catalan club in July on a one-year loan, reports Xinhua news agency.

After a string of impressive performances for the Barcelona B team, Santos was promoted to the first-team squad last month and made his debut as a second-half substitute in the Catalan giants’ 2-0 away victory over Celtic in the UEFA Champions League.

Barcelona are hoping to secure Santos on a long-term contract for two million euros, Globo Esporte reported.

A product of Vasco da Gama’s youth academy, Marlon joined Fluminense in 2013 and made 69 appearances for the Rio de Janeiro club. He has represented Brazil at U-20 and U-23 level.

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