According to reports in The Times, Arsenal are ready to steal a march on a number of their Premier League rivals in the race to sign £45m-rated Bordeaux winger Malcom, who has scored seven goals in 18 Ligue 1 appearances this season.
The Times reports that Gunners representatives met the agent of the 20-year-old starlet on Wednesday in an attempt to bring the wide-man to the Emirates before the transfer window slams shut at the end of the month, with any deal likely to pave the way for Alexis Sanchez’s exit.
The Times says that Arsenal’s arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur have also been monitoring the Brazilian, while French media outlet Mercato 365 claimed in November that Manchester United and Chelsea are also keen.
He has been brilliant.
The left-footed winger has often played on the opposite flank and he has caused havoc by cutting inside, with seven goals and a further four assists in 21 appearances in all competitions for the Ligue 1 outfit this term.
Those seven goals have included a number of strikes from outside the penalty area to show the goal threat that the 20-year-old would bring to Arsenal.
According to WhoScored.com, Malcom has averaged 2.3 shots per game in 18 French top flight outings this season, while he is also quick and has successfully completed 50 of the 72 dribbles he has attempted.
It’s difficult to say.
It is unclear whether Arsenal’s interest in the Brazil U23 international depends on them selling Sanchez this month, or whether they will push ahead with a deal even if the Chilean stays in order to win the race for the in demand 21-year-old.
With Sanchez looking to be on his way out and the future of Mesut Ozil still in doubt, the Gunners certainly need to start making some statements in the transfer market to convince their current players – and potential new additions – they are ambitious, and bringing Malcom to the Emirates before the window slams shut on January 31 would certainly do that.
While £45m may seem like a lot of money, it is the going rate for a good player these days and the young Brazilian certainly looks to be one with a big future ahead of him.