Kiev (AFP) – Ukrainian runners-up Shakhtar Donetsk have signed Brazilian defender Marlon from Serie A side Sassuolo, the club announced on Tuesday.

The 25-year-old centre-back followed his former coach Roberto De Zerbi, who left Sassuolo for the Ukrainian club last month.

“I’m very happy. It’s a great honour for me to sign a contract with Shakhtar. I feel like the chosen one,” said Marlon, who signed a five-year deal.

“The club has the same goals and vision as I do. I moved here to help and be part of the team,” he added.

Marlon, who becomes the 12th Brazilian on Shakhtar’s roster, made 69 appearances for Fluminense in his native Brazil. 

He was loaned out to Barcelona in 2016 before signing a three-year contract the next year.

But the Brazilian made just two appearances in La Liga and one in the Champions League before moving to Sassuolo in 2018, where he played in 66 games, scoring one goal.

Shakhtar did not disclose the financial terms of the deal, but local media reported that the club paid Sassuolo at least 12 million euros ($14.3 million).

Marlon is the club’s third costly newcomer this off-season after fellow Brazilian midfielder Pedrinho and Burkino Faso forward Lassina Traore, both of whom joined Shakhtar after De Zerbi was appointed.

Shakhtar, who are currently playing their home matches in Kiev due to the ongoing conflict in their native Donetsk, finished second in the league, 11 points behind Dynamo Kiev.