ALMOST DONE: Arsenal ready to sign Barcelona Star Forward - Nketia's Replacement

Arsenal are plotting a surprise move to sign former Barcelona winger Malcom this summer, according to a new report.

The Gunners made adding depth to wide areas a priority in the recent January transfer window, with Mykhailo Mudryk one of their primary targets.

However, Shakhtar Donetsk eventually sold the winger to Chelsea for a fee that could reach £89 million, with the club’s CEO telling The Athletic that Blues offered the same initial fee as the Gunners but with more ‘achievable and realistic add-ons’.

The Gunners switched their attentions elsewhere, and brought in Leandro Trossard from Brighton before the January transfer window closed. The Belgian has provided eight assists in 19 league appearances for Arsenal since his arrival.

Mikel Arteta’s side are relatively well stocked in wide areas, with Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli two of Arsenal’s key players this season. Reiss Nelson can also play on either flank, with The Athletic reporting that he is expected to sign a four-year contract to remain with the Gunners.

But, according to a new report, Arsenal are still searching for more options to play on the wing – and could turn to a former Barcelona player.

Arsenal ‘interested in Malcom’

According to transfer journalist Graeme Bailey, speaking on the Talking Transfers podcast, Arsenal are now eyeing a move for Malcom, who currently plays for Zenit Saint Petersburg.

The 26-year-old has scored a superb 23 goals in just 27 appearances in the Russian Premier League, with Zenit having already wrapped up the title with multiple games to spare.

Bailey explained: “He’s had a sensational season for Zenit. He has 30 goal contributions in total. And he’s got some very big clubs who have been very impressed by his progress.

“PSG, but also Arsenal, Man City and Newcastle, we are being told, have also taken note.

“It’s a difficult situation. Teams are going to have to buy him, he is co-owned by a Brazilian businessman as well, but keep an eye on this one. Malcom is very much a wanted man.”

His goalscoring numbers at Zenit very much contrast to those at previous club Barcelona, where he struggled for form after making a reported €41 million move from Bordeaux in 2018.

He made just 24 appearances in all competitions, scoring four goals and providing two assists, before moving to Russia in the summer of 2019.

90min claim that Zenit would ask for upwards of the fee they paid to sign Malcom in order to part company with the Brazilian winger, and he currently has a contract with the club until 2027.

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