Barcelona are ‘one step’ from selling defender Marlon to Southampton, according to reports from Catalonia this afternoon.

Local outlet Sport claims that the Saints have already presented a formal offer to ‘close the operation’, and will be paying €12m for the Brazilian.

According to the report, Marlon’s agents were in Barcelona on Thursday to speak directly to the Catalan club’s president. The meeting was held to finalise the deal, and the paperwork should be signed in the next few days.

Sport claims that West Ham are also interested in the player, but it was Southampton who ended up getting him. Although there’s no buy-back option in the deal, Barcelona still have the rights to make a few million more depending on performance bonuses.

Embed from Getty Images

Back on Monday, newspaper Mundo Deportivo had West Ham in ‘pole position’ to sign the player, with an ‘unnamed Premier League club’ making them some competition. The Hammers had been linked for a while in what had become something of a saga.

Maybe the unnamed club was Southampton, who acted quickly and seemingly won the battle for Marlon.