Club emissaries are meeting with the 20-year-old Brazilian’s agents as they look to move swiftly following the £20m ‘take it or leave it’ bid received from the Etihad yesterday for 29-year-old Sanchez.
Valued at £45m by the Ligue Un club, Malcom is one of the cheaper options the Gunners have in mind. The report claims that the youngster is learning English as he prepares for a move to the Premier League.
Manchester United were early pacesetters for his signatures but are close to landing his compatriot Lucas Moura, 25, from Paris St Germain.
Malcom fits the Gunners profile ideally; seven goals and four assists in his 18 Ligue Un appearances compare favourably with Sanchez’s return this season.
Capped at Under-20 and Under-23 levels by Brazil, Malcom is one of the next generation of players expected to breakthrough into the senior squad after the summer’s World Cup finals in Russia. A move to a Premier League club may raise his profile higher and give him an outside chance of breaking into Tite’s plans, particularly if he is that club’s star turn.
The Gunners are also looking to move Theo Walcott, 28, on from the Emirates this winter giving Arsène Wenger plenty of scope for using the Brazilian on either flank, or playing Malcom in the middle of the attack as he has with Sanchez at times.