Arsenal reportedly want Bordeaux youngster Malcom to replace Alexis Sanchez in January, with the Gunners said to have scheduled a meeting with the Ligue 1 side to discuss a possible transfer.
According to journalist Fabrizio Romano, Arsenal have asked about the availability of the 20-year-old:
Fabrizio Romano @FabrizioRomano
Arsenal have asked info to Bordeaux for the Brazilian winger #Malcom, 1997. He can be a good opportunity for January or for next season. There are many clubs on him: not easy. 🇧🇷 #transfers #AFC #Arsenal2018-1-10 02:44:57
Meanwhile, it's reported by GianlucaDiMarzio.com that a meeting is scheduled for Wednesday for the two clubs to negotiate a possible deal worth around €50 million (£44 million).
The article suggested "everything is bound" to Sanchez completing a January move to Manchester City. "Arsenal are still serious about Malcom, though, and are trying to find an agreement with his agent," the report added.
Borussia Dortmund forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is also cited as someone who would interest Arsenal, but "that deal seems more complicated for the cost and the concurrence of the Chinese clubs."
According to Jamie Jackson of the Guardian, City are hopeful of signing Sanchez in January, with his contract set to expire at the end of the campaign. If he were to move on, there would be a big void to fill in the final third in terms of goalscoring and creativity.
As noted by the Tifo Football Twitter account, since arriving at Arsenal in 2014 from Barcelona, his contribution has been massive:
Tifo Football @TifoFootball_
Alexis Sanchez has directly contributed to more goals for Arsenal (85) in the Premier League since he joined in 2014 than any other player. If they sell him to Manchester City - how do they replace that output? 😳 https://t.co/fBIvOsY1KW2018-1-10 02:30:00
Malcom is someone with the potential to be as good as Sanchez eventually, as he's been lighting up the French top flight this season.
The Brazilian showcased flashes of talent before 2017-18, although this term the 20-year-old has found some consistency to underpin his raw ability. Malcom has left opposition defenders' heads spinning with his blistering pace, skill and inventiveness.
As we can see below, WhoScored.com have rated Malcom as the finest young player in Europe's top five leagues this season:
Malcom has been linked with a January switch to the Premier League, with Manchester United and Arsenal keeping tabs on the Bordeaux ace His WhoScored rating (7.51) is the third best of players aged 21 and under in Europe's top 5 leagues this season -- https://t.co/j0CCpSuly1 https://t.co/vCWoP10qZc2018-1-8 15:30:00
However, the Brazilian's productivity in the final third is what has really caught the eye in this campaign.
Wide players of his age so often flicker in and out of matches. Malcom already appears to know when to dribble, pass and utilise his prowess from distance by hammering shots at goal.
It's this composure that will attract clubs of Arsenal's pedigree. The Scouted Football Twitter account believes Malcom may be good enough to force his way into the Brazil squad for this summer's FIFA World Cup:
Scouted Football @ScoutedFtbl
Malcom ⚔️ Neres in the league this season: Minutes played: 1467 • 1118 Key Passes: 43 • 38 Dribbles: 50 • 46 Assists: 4 • 9 Goals: 7 • 8 Both wildcard options for the 2018 World Cup 🇧🇷 https://t.co/N5PyYgbWPR2017-12-24 15:53:38
If Sanchez moves on in January, it will be almost impossible to draft in another player capable of offering what he does. With that in mind, it may be wise to cast an eye towards the future and invest in a long-term prospect such as Malcom.
Convincing Les Girondins to sell may be tough, though, especially given they are in a relegation scrap at the moment in Ligue 1. Bordeaux manager Jocelyn Gourvennec also told SFR Sport (h/t Get French Football News) "as of today, I cannot imagine him leaving us this month."