Malcom will get his chance to impress Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde this week, as he is set to start in the Copa del Rey match against Cultural Leonesa on Wednesday evening.
The forward has struggled for playing time in the talent-rich Blaugrana squad, and there are murmurs emanating from Spain that Malcom may already be seeking a move away from the Catalan giants – alerting a trio of clubs in Arsenal, Tottenham and Inter to his potential availability.
Barça squad for tomorrow’s Copa del Rey game La Cultural Leonesa.
It’s quite unfortunate that Malcom (whom @FCBarcelona fought AS Roma for, and STOLE from via an “out bidding coup de’tat”) has being reduced to a bench warmer that would never get to play except the Copa games. pic.twitter.com/s61L7TxGhF
— Barca Fans Nigeria (@BarcaNaija) October 30, 2018
Barcelona pulled off a coup when they snagged the former Bordeaux star from under the noses of Roma for £36.5m, and the expectation was that the Brazilian would feature prominently for Valverde’s side in Barca’s quest to retain the league title.
However, the 21-year-old has only played twice for Barcelona (25 minutes in total) as a bothersome ankle injury kept him sidelined. However, Valverde has elected to keep the new signing on the bench, something which Malcom brought up with his coach recently, according to Mundo Deportivo.
Valverde, in response to Malcom’s query on what he could do to gain more playing time, is reported to have told the forward that he is training well and has a good attitude, but he simply has other options ahead of him in the pecking order right now.
Deportivo claim that Malcom then asked to be able to leave the club in the January transfer window if he wasn’t going to be a regular in the first team.
Barcelona’s general manager Pep Segura spoke to this in a recent interview with Mundo Deportivo: “We understand that it is a logical situation of a young boy who is gaining over time the knowledge about what is FC Barcelona, our model and our style.
“From there it will have its evolution. We all hope that his quality is increasing. If in the end it does not happen, because these circumstances can happen, we will see how things evolve.”
Thus numerous reports have begun to circulate about Arsenal and Spurs’ interest in Malcom as a pacy option to boost their attacking line. and the fact that the Brazilian named the two clubs as ‘dream’ destinations earlier this year will do little to calm the flames surrounding his future. Serie A titans Inter also have a longstanding interest in Malcom, and the Brazilian has already been linked with a move to the San Siro.
It looks like Barcelona may have a fight on their hands if they want to keep the youngster at the Camp Nou in the coming months – if that’s even the case at all.