West Ham have received a huge transfer boost as one of their reported targets no longer spending next season on loan with Ligue 1 side OGC Nice.
The 22-year-old Brazilian defender is only halfway into his two-season loan deal, but with reports of the Hammers nearing a £14m agreement for the player's services, the French side have pulled out and he has returned to his parent club.
Transfers [AS] Official: Marlon leaves Nice and returns to Barcelona.
He cost about 6 million euros to Barça in the summer of 2016. In principle, the Barça club will sell him to make cash. West Ham is interested in him. pic.twitter.com/E4DGmAXIZB
"Marlon will not be Nicois for the 2018-19 season," Nice announced in a statement on their official website. "In agreement with FC Barcelona, the Brazilian, loaned last summer in Nice, will not wear the colors of Nice in 2018-19. He returns to the Catalan club. In 2017-18, the 22-year-old defenseman participated in 23 Conforama Ligue 1 matches in the red and black jersey.
According to the Daily Mail, West Ham are now clear to sign the defensive starlet from Barcelona following his loan spell in France's top flight.
Meanwhile, both West Ham and Nice will be heading into next season under new leadership. Manuel Pellegrini has come in as David Moyes' replacement at the London Stadium, while Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira has been appointed manager of the Ligue 1 outfit.
The Irons have also brought in a new of director of football in Mario Husillos, who will again link up with Pellegrini. And the Londoners are now seeking to put together a side they hope will make a statement in the Premier League next season.
They are understood to be closing in on Lazio midfielder Felipe Anderson, with a £25m deal reportedly nearing completion, while they're also vying to sign French prodigy Issa Diop.