Barcelona forward Malcom is reportedly being targeted by Guangzhou Evergrande as he could seal a shock early exit from the Nou Camp.
As noted by the Guardian, the Catalan giants splashed out £36.5m on the Brazilian starlet to beat Roma to his signature as he arrived from Bordeaux this past summer.
Much was expected from him, but he has managed to make just nine appearances so far this season, scoring just two goals.
With that in mind, he perhaps isn’t as key as first imagined, but with Corriere dello Sport pairing Guangzhou Evergrande with a swoop for him, it would still be a surprise if Barcelona allowed him to leave so soon after arriving.
It could be argued that he is still an important squad player as they continue to try and compete across multiple fronts. Further, at just 21 years of age, he still has his entire future ahead of him and perhaps shouldn’t be cut loose before he has a real chance to prove his worth.
But as per the report above, he is being linked with a move to join a number of compatriots under Fabio Cannavaro, in what would be quite a coup for the Chinese outfit who could potentially offer a lucrative deal given that it’s noted in the report that they splashed out €40m on Paulinho this past summer.
With a lack of playing time at Barcelona, perhaps that could force him to consider his options. Nevertheless, it would arguably still be quite a shock to see him leave next year, more so if Barcelona green light the exit without giving him a real chance to show what he can offer them.