Just five months ago, Barcelona hijacked AS Roma’s move for Brazilian starlet, Malcom.

The 21-year-old had agreed terms with the Italians and was ready to fly over from Bordeaux to put pen to paper. That’s when the Catalans’ interest became known.

An abrupt about-turn saw Malcom soon wearing the Blaugrana and Barca had got their man.

Roma’s sporting director, Monchi, was livid, but all’s fair in love and transfer business it seems.

Expectation v. Reality

No sooner had the deal been completed than Malcom flew out to join Barcelona’s pre-season tour of the USA. At that point there was, of course, no hint of what was to follow.

The expectation was that the player would provide great competition for the under-performing Ousmane Dembele, offering pace, width and goals when required.

Ninety minutes against Boca Juniors in the Joan Gamper pre-season curtain raiser at the Camp Nou included a goal, but a cursory six minutes at Valladolid at the end of August wasn’t in the plan.

Malcom

Worse was to follow as it would be precisely one month and one day before he played again; 19 minutes at Leganes.

His nine minutes at Inter some six weeks after that – which included another goal – looked like it could finally be the turning point, and with three more appearances (57 minutes against Betis, five at Atletico Madrid and 21 at PSV) in November, the wide man was at least getting minutes.

What Went Wrong For Malcom?

The problem for Ernesto Valverde was that in the time he was on the pitch, he wasn’t making the right impression. And all the while Dembele’s mojo was returning.

Another 10 minutes against Villarreal in early December was his last action of 2018, his 67 minutes against Levante in the Copa del Rey coming five weeks after the Yellow Submarine fixture.

It could be said that his last performance – 21 minutes against Leganes – is a shop window exercise, given that Barcelona have, apparently, told Ajax and Frenkie De Jong that they’ll meet the asking price and salary demands with no negotiations.

That being the case, significant funds need to be raised quickly.

Denis Suarez, the only player to have less minutes than Malcom this season, is wanted by Arsenal on loan with a purchase option. But Barca are alleged to want a straight sale to accrue somewhere in the region of €25m.

Where Next?

Malcom could, feasibly, go for at least what Barca paid for him – €41m.

Tottenham have cooled any interest it seems, though odds on that move are still available at 4/6.

Malcom

Guangzhou Evergrande are monitoring developments and with another Brazilian there already, Paulinho, also signed from Barca, there’s merit in such a move. Particularly in a financial sense for the player.

Malcom was actually uninterested in looking elsewhere at the beginning of this current transfer window. But it’s quickly become apparent to him that his future isn’t at the Camp Nou.

At 10/1, a switch to any Chinese club represents good value for the punter. If Barca can pull the deal off, they’ll get something out of a move that should never have been made in the first place too.

Malcom Transfer Odds:

Tottenham

Chelsea

Any Chinese Club

BAR

 

Odds are correct at the time of posting

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