PSG’s Marquinhos free to play for Brazil in Olympics: ‘I have a release’

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Marquinhos of Brazil vs. Ecuador
Marquinhos was in the starting XI for Brazil’s 0-0 draw against Ecuador on Saturday.

Paris Saint-Germain defender Marquinhos has been released by the Ligue 1 club to play for Brazil in the Olympics, the player announced on Monday.

The 22-year-old former Roma centre-back is currently on duty with the national team at the Copa America Centenario in the United States. He was among the starting XI in the Selecao‘s opening 0-0 draw against Ecuador on Saturday.

Marquinhos is considered one of the top young defenders in world football, but has seen only inconsistent playing time since joining PSG as a 19-year-old for around €31 million in the summer of 2013.

Five-time world champions Brazil have never won the Olympic tournament. They are looking to set that right at the Rio de Janeiro games this August, which means manager Dunga will choose the strongest side possible.

Included in that team will be Barcelona superstar Neymar, who was barred by the Catalan club from participating in the Copa America in favour of the Olympic Games. That same restriction won’t apply to Marquinhos, who looks set to play in both tournaments this summer.

Marquinhos afirma ter liberação do PSG para participar das Olimpíadas – https://t.co/BAud0A7hCYpic.twitter.com/EIckCfmB4T

– Mundo ESPN (@ESPNagora) June 6, 2016

“I have a release, yes,” Marquinhos, who was speaking at a news conference on Monday, said when asked if he would be available for the Olympics. “In the beginning PSG made things a little difficult, but everything was discussed and, since I am of Olympic age, everything is OK.”

The ex-Corinthians man has been the subject of transfer rumours due to his uncertain status in the PSG first team. Among his suitors are La Liga champions Barcelona, who could spend as much as €50m for his services.

ESPN FC’s Alejandro Moreno and Steve Nicol delve into Brazil’s identity issues under Dunga.

Marquinhos said his club future would be sorted in due time.

“In every market there is speculation, but I have a contract with PSG until 2019,” Marquinhos said. “With the interest of some clubs, many things will come out, but I am focused on Copa America because it’s very important to me.

“I have a contract with PSG, my situation is in discussion and everything will be resolved after the the competitions with the national team.”

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