Barcelona and Juventus close in on Marques-Pereira swap deal

goal.com, 24 January 2020, 10:31
The European giants have finalised details of a move that will involve two youngsters being tipped for a bright future at the highest level

Barcelona and Juventus are set to complete a swap deal that would see Alejandro Marques depart Spain to join the Old Lady with Matheus Pereira heading the other way.

Goal has learned that the two clubs have come to terms on a deal involving the two players, one which is seen as a move that will strengthen the relationships between both parties.

While the two clubs were able to get a deal for the two up-and-comers over the line, there will be no agreement involving Ivan Rakitic and Federico Bernardeschi as swap talks date back to the summer but have not progressed in recent months.

Marques is set to complete a medical in the coming hours, which will likely see him move to a role with Juventus' Under-23s.

The 19-year-old forward, who has been seen as one of the brighter stars in the Barca academy, has been with the Catalan club since 2017, having originally joined the Espanyol youth setup in 2013 after moving to Spain as a youngster.

He made his debut with Barcelona's reserve team in 2018, and has gone on to make a total of 22 appearances for Barcelona B while scoring one goal.

But it was with Barcelona's youth teams that Marques began to flourish, as he starred for the club on the road to a UEFA Youth League crown.

A Spain youth international, Marques was a member of his country's U19 side that captured the U19 European Championships in 2019.

Marques has also been the subject of overtures from Venezuela but, following a difficult childhood due to political unrest in his native country, the player's family is reluctant to allow him to travel to Venezuela due to the current political climate.

With Marques heading to Juventus, Pereira will make the move to Barcelona after recently featuring on loan with Dijon.

The 21-year-old, who earned youth caps with Brazil, made 10 appearances in total for the French side in what was his third loan move away from the club.

The midfielder originally came to Italy from Corinthians, as he signed with Empoli in 2016 due to a Juventus overage in non-EU players in the squad at the time.

Pereira then made his move to Juventus in 2017, and went on to make three Serie A appearances with his debut coming in last April's 1-1 draw with Inter.

He had also featured on loan for Bordeaux and Brazilian side Parana at points of his Juventus career while also appearing for the club's U23 side.

Juventus currently sit atop Serie A, four points ahead of Inter, with a visit to Napoli coming up on Sunday.

Barcelona, meanwhile, also sit atop their league, with the La Liga leaders also facing a difficult road match as they take on Valencia this Saturday.

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