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Tottenham set to pip Arsenal to signing of Brazilian winger

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If reports from Brazil are to be believed, Arsenal have given up on Malcom, and Spurs are next in line.

FC Girondins de Bordeaux v Montpellier Herault SC - Ligue 1
“I’m going to Spurs and not Arsenal? Awesome!”
Photo by Romain Perrocheau/Getty Images

The internet has exploded this morning with rumors about Bordeaux’s young Brazilian winger Malcom. A target for both Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal in this window, it was thought that the Gunners were in the lead to sign him this month as a replacement for the outgoing Alexis Sanchez.

But maybe not! A report in Brazilian outlet UOL Esporte says that Spurs are now favorites to sign the 20-year old Brazilian youth international, who has scored 7 goals and tallied 5 assists at Bordeaux this season, and that Arsenal have backed off on his pursuit.

Malcom’s representatives were spotted in London (via social media) this week and it was thought that he was in negotiations with Arsenal, but UOL says that instead they met with Tottenham. According to the article, Mauricio Pochettino convinced Malcom by saying he could turn him into “one of the great names in European football” within three years.

The transfer fee is reportedly €40m, with an additional €10m in performance-based add-ons, though UOL isn’t sure whether this will be an outright sale or if Malcom would be loaned back to Bordeaux for the remainder of the season. The contract would reportedly be for five or six years.

So at first blush this looks like a potentially lovely GAZUMPING of the Gunners, but it might not be as #banteriffic as that. You could equally argue that Arsenal are stepping back from Malcom to focus their efforts on bringing in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Dortmund and Henrikh Mkhitaryan from Manchester United. That’s the implication from BBC’s David Ornstein.

I’m also not especially familiar with the original Brazilian media source. That said, there’s a LOT of smoke surrounding this potential transfer, and it’s looking more and more like there’s actually something going on here. Malcom is a potentially VERY exciting signing, even if he’s on the bottom edge of his development curve. If he comes he may not contribute a lot immediately, but his potential is super high.

A Malcom signing would probably be the end of the rumors about another Tottenham-linked Brazilian winger — Lucas Moura. I can’t see Spurs stumping for two attacking midfielders in January, so it’s probably one or the other.

What Spurs decide to do with Malcom could potentially also affect what they do with midfielder Josh Onomah, who is currently on loan at Aston Villa. You’d think that if Malcom comes to Spurs permanently in January it would potentially mean that Onomah would stay on loan for the rest of the season. If Malcom signs and returns to Bordeaux on loan, Josh could be recalled and slotted into the Champions League side, giving Spurs another homegrown player. Dan Kilpatrick tweeted this morning that Spurs will decide what to do with Joshy before the end of the transfer window.