One of the many midfielders from Barcelona who have not had a good time this term could be the centre of attention from a myriad of Premier League clubs
This is what has been claimed by journalist Duncan Castles, who believes that Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham are all eyeing a move for Barcelona player Malcom, who only just completed a £46m switch from Bordeaux to Camp Nou back in July 2018. However, the young Brazilian has been a disappointment so far, failing to establish himself as a first-team regular under Ernesto Valverde, and accruing a mere 15 appearances for the Spanish champions this season.
And Castles — who also confirmed that the Catalans have put up former Liverpool ace Philippe Coutinho on the shopping window as well — is of the opinion that the 22-year-old is now surplus to requirements at the Nou Camp. “(As well as Coutinho) they’ve also got Malcom on the market this summer and, again, I would see him as being a player that would appeal greatly to a number of the Premier League clubs,” he told The Transfer Window podcast.
“Manchester United obviously looked at him before he moved to Barcelona, Arsenal have been very keen on him, I believe Tottenham Hotspur have an interest in him too, although not sure he fits into the recruitment policy Tottenham have going into next season.
“So yeah, there could be a lot of movement from Barcelona. It’s interesting the way they’ve set themselves up. It’s a different kind of stockpiling of players, but they’re doing that Manchester City, Chelsea thing of buying players with the view of having them as part of their club for a season or a couple of seasons can increase their value and allow them to make profits from the transfer market that will subsidise the purchase of their superstar names they need to keep themselves at the top of the Spanish league and in the Champions League.”
Also set for a potential move to the Premier League this summer is Adrien Rabiot. The PSG midfielder has been frozen out at the Parc Des Princes after rejecting all new deals that the club has offered him. As per football consultant Ian McGarry, the 23-year-old is another player of interest to the the abovementioned trio of English clubs.
“We know that Adrien Rabiot will definitely leave on a free, freedom of contract in the summer,” he said. “The interesting thing is in their 2017/18 accounts, Paris St-Germain actually made a £40m profit, which given the FFP worries that we assumed Paris St-Germain have given the recruitment of Neymar and the incredible wages he’s on, you’d have thought they’d be struggling to fulfil the FFP obligations.
“There doesn’t need to be a wholesale exodus of players in order to either buy Coutinho or indeed pay him and play him. But what will be interesting I think for Premier League clubs is that no club is quite stockpiled as high as PSG in the last two to three years, and so I can see maybe three or four departures in the same way that we saw players like Serge Aurier and Lucas Moura join Tottenham, and obviously Blaise Matuidi went to Juventus and has prospered there.
“So I think you’ll see that there will be interest from the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool, Tottenham in some players at PSG. I guess one of the things that they have to consider of course is the high wages that PSG pay, so they’re coming in already at a high level.
“Rabiot in particular is only 23 but will be able to command an excess of £12-15m a season because there is no transfer fee involved, so that will be one of the sticking points for any player being recruited from Paris. However, they do have a lot of talent in their squad and other than Coutinho, you’d expect them to recruit as well. So I think there’s gonna be that kind of merry-go-round effect, where one transfer will trigger another.”
Make no bones about it, both Malcom and Rabiot, along with Coutinho, are destined for the exit window come the season end. They former two have had little to no impact for their respective sides, who are both top of their leagues despite the absence of these more than capable stars, so there is no reason why their clubs will not take a decision to let them move on to newer pastures! Coutinho, seems to appear devoid of all confidence after his dream move to the Camp Nou turned sour quicker than he could say Messi! It is sad that such a player is facing such a situation, but as we have said before, it would be best for both parties to cut their losses and amicably split.