Indykaila: Malcom’s in the Middle as Spurs nip by Arsenal in winger chase

The North London rivals have been wooing the Bordeaux wide man for months, but sources now suggest Pochettino may win the race for his signature...

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Back in January, both Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur were in hot pursuit of Bordeaux’s exciting winger Malcom. The 20-year-old Brazilian openly admitted to French portal Telefoot that he wanted to leave the Ligue 1 side to try his hand in the Premier League. The North London rivals however, were put off by the £45M asking price and the deal failed to materialise.

Fast-forward to July and now The Gunners have a new man at the helm that is not afraid to go to the power brokers at The Emirates to ask for a bigger transfer kitty before the August 9th deadline.

My source, who happens to be a close confidant of Unai Emery, has told me that the Spanish tactician is a huge fan of the youngster, who was snapped up by the French club for a mere £4.5M from Corinthians back in January of 2016. One of his most appealing features is his nose for goals; 12 strikes in 35 league appearances last term is a good return for a wide-man, and that he also assisted seven more has made him one of this summer’s hot properties.

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Having already spoken with Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino back in January, it’s likely that the Argentine tactician will also be keeping a watching brief over Malcom’s situation. An Arsenal insider, however, has told Indykaila that The Gunners are in a position to offer the player a better package than their capital rivals, who will soon have a brand spanking new stadium to pay for.

That’s all in the past for Arsenal of course, who were very careful to balance the books during Arsene Wenger’s tenure at the club. Like the Frenchman, Emery is not renowned for splashing the cash, and it was clear last summer that he wasn’t keen to bring Brazilian superstar Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain as the French giants smashed the world transfer record.

Arsenal seem a much better fit for the Spaniard and early signs coming out of the club are good. Emery has already managed to pick up German goalkeeper Bernd Leno and Swiss full-back Stephan Lichtsteiner for next to nothing, while the arrivals this week of midfielders Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi have hardly given cause for concern for the Emirates money men.

Indeed, Emery’s best work has been on a shoestring budget, as fans of both Valencia and Sevilla will testify. But Arsenal fans will demand a marquee signing before next month’s transfer deadline, and it seems likely that Emery will test Bordeaux’s resolve once again. An offer in excess of £40M for a player could secure the services of a player who looks to have alienated himself from his current club’s hierarchy having posted a video of himself laughing and joking with teammates after a league defeat to Caen back in January.

Maybe this was just the result of Bordeaux’s reluctance to let him come to England, but, despite noises from across The Channel that he will stay put this summer, it seems impossible that they will refuse another big-money offer for his services.

Indykaila understands that the player’s agent, Leonardo Cornacini, is keen to get some sort of deal done. He tried back in January too, posting a photograph of himself to his Facebook page with colleagues in London when the reported meeting with Pochettino took place.

Whoever finally wins out in this latest North London battle, they look sure to be getting themselves a hugely talented player who may be a little raw, but who also seems to have that classic prototype of a Brazilian player when they arrive in Europe; brilliant but occasionally volatile. Then again, Emery did work with Neymar last season, though my sources say Tottenham are in the driving seat and should seal the deal.

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