Ex-Barcelona talent confirms Rafa Benitez offer – & reveals why NUFC move collapsed in 2018

Brazilian defender Marlon has confirmed he “could have gone to Newcastle” in the summer of 2018.

The 24-year-old – who was on Barcelona’s books at the time – looks all set to complete a loan move to St James’ Park in two years ago as Rafa Benitez scoured the market for a new centre-back, however a deal collapsed at the 11th hour.

Marlon has now revealed that a move to Tyneside “would have been good”, but reveals that there was an issue with his work permit.

Here’s what he’s had to say about the deal that never was after he went on to secure a £6m move to Serie A side Sassuolo instead that summer:

“I could have gone to Newcastle, it would have been good,”

“But there was a problem with the work permit.

“It was a great pleasure to come to Sassuolo because it is a beautiful team with boys with enormous potential. Jérémie Boga, Junior Traoré, Manuel Locatelli…really strong boys.”

As it turns out, it was a good job we missed out on the Brazilian talent, with us striking a deal to sign Swansea centre-back Federico Fernandez just 24 hours after a Marlon move collapsed.

That said, the fact we were scrambling to secure what proved to be a key signing with just hours of the window remaining sums up how shambolic our approach to transfer has been under Ashley – something Rafa Benitez was forced to contend with on a daily basis.

Hopefully the arrival of ambitious new owners with big plans and even bigger wallets will mean when we want to sign someone, we make a move immediately and get a deals done.

(Fancy writing for us? Get in touch at NUFCblogsubmissions@gmail.com & we’ll get back to you!)

About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

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