Posting on his Instagram story, Arsenal-linked winger Marquinhos captioned a picture of Sao Paulo with: “Gratitude for this wonderful place. Will always be in my heart.”
This builds on recent reports from Brazil that the player’s transfer to Arsenal is going ahead, despite a legal challenge from Wolves.
Globo Esporte reported last week that Arsenal had secured the signing of Marquinhos from Sao Paulo, pushing to get the deal over the line after a Dutch side tried to hijack the move.
Marquinhos has already passed his medical, and he’s set to return to England to link up with his new teammates in the coming weeks.
The status of Wolves’ attempt to stop the move is unclear. The Daily Mail recently reported that Marquinhos had signed a pre-contract agreement to join Wolves in the summer before Sao Paulo decided to offer him to Arsenal.
Arsenal quickly wrapped up a deal, but Wolves believe their agreement with Marquinhos is legally binding.
They’re reportedly taking legal advice on the matter, with the Mail claiming they’re considering action against Sao Paulo, Arsenal, and the player.
The story initially broke in Brazil, with Jorge Nicola reporting that Wolves were set to present a legal complaint against the player.
Though Nicola claimed the deal for Marquinhos to join Arsenal was still going ahead, and that Wolves weren’t taking action against Sao Paulo or Arsenal – contrary to the Mail’s claims.
When Marquinhos signed his first professional deal in 2019, he agreed a five-year deal with Sao Paulo.
That length of contract is allowed by the Brazilian Football Confederation, but FIFA do not recognise first professional contracts longer than three years.
So, according to FIFA, Marquinhos is out of contract this summer, and Sao Paulo were unable to convince him to extend.
As a result, the young winger is technically under contract according to his local federation, but that contract wouldn’t hold up if put to FIFA. The simplest solution for Sao Paulo was to sell cheap.
Arsenal opted to pay a minimal fee to get the signing done and build a relationship with Sao Paulo.