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Are West Ham the mystery club behind £20m bid?

Filed: Tuesday, 29th May 2018
By: Staff Writer

West Ham are rumoured to be the club behind a cloak-and-dagger move for Barcelona defender Marlon.

The 22-year-old central defender - full name Marlon Santos da Silva Barbosa - has spent the last 12 months on loan at OGC Nice in Ligue 1, but will be leaving France this summer.

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His departure was confirmed by Les Aiglons President Jean-Pierre Rivère, who told local media on Monday that the Brazilian would be returning to his parent club with immediate effect following a bid received by an English club.

“Barcelona have received a €20million offer for Marlon," Rivère told French radio station France Bleu Azur's '100% Aiglons' show, during a general chat about his team's chances next season. "He is therefore set to leave OGC Nice."

According to numerous French sources this morning, the team behind the bid is thought to be West Ham, who are yet to make a move in the current transfer window or since new manager Manuel Pellegrini joined the club.

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Marlon, a product of the Fluminense Academy in Brazil originally signed for Barcelona on a season-long loan in 2016, making his debut in a Champions League tie against Celtic. Having impressed in Spain he was snapped up on a four-year contract for €5million.

Yet despite impressing initially, Barca boss Ernesto Valverde allowed Marlon to join Nice last summer on a two-year loan deal with a €20million option-to-buy - a clause that has now apparently been triggered by the mystery English club.

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