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Both north London teams have bid for the Brazilian forward this month but Spurs were only willing to offer €35million (£31m) for his signature. Bordeaux want €50m (£44.5m) for Malcom and while Arsenal are not willing to pay quite that much, they are happy to pay up to €45m (£40m) for the man they have identified as Alexis Sanchez’s replacement.
Even that fee is twice as much as Arsenal could have signed Malcom for in the summer. The Brazilian 20-year-old was being offered to major clubs for as little as €18m (£16m) last summer but there was not much interest. His excellent Ligue 1 form so far this season – he has seven goals and five assists already – and the interest of some of England’s biggest teams, has driven the price up.
The arrival of Malcom would be the first major signing of the Sven Mislintat era at Arsenal. The new head of recruitment, who arrived from Borussia Dortmund last November, is a long-standing admirer of Malcom after following him during his time in Germany. His relationship with the player’s representatives is one of the driving forces behind the move this month. Arsenal have already signed young Greek defender Konstantinos Mavropanos in January.
Arsene Wenger has always insisted that the club would not sell Sanchez without a replacement, but the that the Chilean was on “stand-by” to join Manchester United over the weekend because of the club’s progress with Malcom late last week.
“There is nothing concrete there,” Wenger insisted when asked about Malcom at his post-match press conference at Bournemouth on Sunday afternoon. “It’s better I don’t come out on any specific name.”