Brazil defender Marquinhos confirms PSG contract talks underway

Paris Saint-Germain defender Marquinhos has confirmed he is in negotiations with the French champions over a new contract.

Since David Luiz returned to Chelsea earlier in the season, the Brazil international has formed a solid central defensive partnership with compatriot and club captain Thiago Silva.

Speaking ahead of PSG's trip to Marseille for Le Classique on Sunday, Marquinhos revealed recent speculation that he is in talks over a new and improved deal are accurate having been linked with Barcelona and Manchester United.

"Talks are underway, that is true," the defender told journalists at Camp des Loges on Saturday. "However, there is no agreement with the club yet, so there is not much to say. It is expected, so we will see."

PSG will face bitter rivals Marseille at the Stade Velodrome without travelling support this weekend after fans were barred from making the journey from the capital, so a group of Ultras were allowed to visit the players during training on Friday instead.

Marquinhos stressed he and his teammates are aware of the significance of Le Classique and that the supporters' visit has given the squad extra motivation.

"We know the importance of the supporters for a club," the Brazil international said. "To have them alongside us during training yesterday gave us positive energy. They cannot come to Marseille but it is good they came to see us ahead of an important match."

PSG recently thrashed Barcelona 4-0 in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie and Marquinhos is aware that a similar performance will be required against OM this weekend.

"We are going to Marseille with the same determination as against Barcelona or for all the other games," said the 22-year-old. "Against Barca we showed the strength of the club's project and its desire to always go higher and higher.

"Against Marseille, we will need to have the same desire. A league is not won in one match but by consistency. We will have to start strongly and do our utmost to come back with three points."

Unai Emery's men are currently three points behind AS Monaco at the top of the Ligue 1 table and a 0-0 draw at home to Toulouse last Sunday wasted a golden chance to pull level on points with the Principality outfit.

Marquinhos recognised the value of a win away at Marseille but does not feel that the result could decide the title race in Le Championnat.

"It is an important game, of course, for the rest of the league and for the fans," he said. "We will fight until the end to try and be champions. "We also have to respect our opponents and do everything to win."