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Deal close: Barcelona misfit linked with exit in next 48 hours, €45m asking price almost met

Barcelona are reportedly closing in on a deal with Zenit to send Malcom to Russia, although they are still just short of his €45m asking price.

The 22-year-old endured a disappointing debut campaign with the Catalan giants, as he managed just four goals and two assists in 24 appearances.

SEE MORE: Transfer talks: Man United ready to submit €50m bid for Barcelona star after opening negotiations

That was largely down to fitness issues and a lack of consistency, while coach Ernesto Valverde often left the Brazilian out of his matchday squad altogether.

In turn, perhaps a second season to prove his worth could be a smart option, having now had plenty of time to settle and adjust to the Barcelona style of play.

However, he may not get the chance to do so, as Mundo Deportivo report, via RMC Sport, that Zenit have offered €41m for Malcom, which would essentially see Barcelona recoup what they spent to sign him last summer.

That might not be good enough for a deal though, as it’s added that the reigning La Liga champions want €45m, with Zenit said to want to wrap up a deal in the next 48 hours.

With just €4m separating the two clubs, further discussions in the next two days will surely result in a compromise being reached, which in turn could give Barca additional funds to continue to strengthen Valverde’s squad.

Following the arrival of Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid, Malcom will undoubtedly fall further down the pecking order at the Nou Camp, with Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele also all battling it out for a place in the starting line-up.

With that in mind, it’s arguably the best option for Malcom to move on, although time will tell if the two clubs can reach an agreement on a transfer fee, with developments expected in the next 48 hours and a deal certainly possible based on the report above.

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