Arsenal set to give up on Edu signing after just 18 months | Football

The Gunners have decided to cut their losses on the youngster (Picture: Getty Images)

Arsenal look set to give up on Marquinhos after barely 18 months at the club with the youngster on the verge of returning to Brazil, according to reports.

The 20-year-old was signed by sporting director Edu from Sao Paulo in the summer of 2022 on a long-term contract, with the north Londoners beating off competition from Wolves and others.

Marquinhos was initially integrated into the first-team squad under Mikel Arteta and played in the Europa League last season, before joining Norwich City for the second half of the campaign in order to get more regular game time.

But it was a rather unspectacular loan, netting only once, and he was sent out to Ligue 1 side Nantes at the start of this season, though that move has gone even worse.

Marquinhos started just once for the French side, making seven appearances in total across 150 minutes, and failed to score or assist before Arsenal decided to trigger a break clause and end his loan early.

There had been suggestions Marquinhos might stay at Arsenal for the rest of the campaign and he was even listed as the third-choice option on the right wing in a picture showing the club’s tactics board at the training ground.

But Globo in Brazil are reporting that Arsenal have agreed yet another loan for the youngster, who will head to Fluminense – and this time it includes a buy clause.

Arsenal's Marquinhos set to join Fluminense

A deal for Marquinhos to join Fluminense is all but done (Picture: Getty)

Although many Arsenal fans had been hoping Edu had managed to pluck another Gabriel Martinelli-level talent out of his homeland, it appears the Gunners are now happy to cash in.

Marquinhos cost around £3million when he joined Arsenal and the club would likely receive a similar fee if the youngster is bought outright.

The deal has not yet been rubberstamped but all parties expect it to go through once Marquinhos has returned from South America’s Pre-Olympics tournament, with the youngster currently playing for Brazil’s Under-23 team in Venezuela.

Fluminense will pay a nominal loan fee for Marquinhos, who had lit up Brazil’s Serie A when playing for Sao Paulo, and if he impresses they can make the move permanent at any time.

Discussing Marquinhos after his debut for Arsenal, Arteta said: ‘He’s a player that is very popular, with no English, just with his smile and attitude has won the respect and admiration of everybody here.

‘It was a big step for him as he hasn’t played enough minutes with us but we were willing to give him the opportunity, I think he deserved it.

‘He took it really well and again, it’s another player that needs to keep developing, in order to do that we have to give them minutes and opportunities.’

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