Arsenal dealt Malcom setback as Liverpool enter race for £45m winger: Wednesday's transfer news and rumours

Jack Austin

Arsenal have been dealt a huge blow in their pursuit of Malcom after the Brazilian’s own Bordeaux manager linked Liverpool with the winger – rather than the Gunners.

The Independent reported on Monday that Arsenal were on the brink of the transfer – a replacement for Manchester United-bound Alexis Sanchez – after outbidding north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur.

The Gunners were willing to pay £40m of the £45m Bordeaux were asking for compared to Spurs’ £31m – but it seems from Bordeaux boss Jocelyn Gourvennec Liverpool are also in the race which could drive the price up again.

Malcom, who was being offered to major clubs for as little as £16m last summer, is said to have been unsettled by all the speculation in him and is “asking questions” about the interest in him.

“I can’t deny that he’s being followed by a lot of people. With Malcom, I go from day-to-day,” Gourvennec told the French media. “He’s committed. He’s a bit, like he was in the summer… I wouldn’t say he has been disturbed by it, that’s a bit strong, he’s not disturbed, but he is asking questions.

“He’s asking himself what’s the best thing for him, for his future. That’s logical. If he’s asking questions and he still manages to make assists or score goals, it’ll be fine.

Latest transfer news, gossip and rumours from the January window

“If Liverpool want you to work for them tomorrow, you’d go. I’m a coach, I’d like to be able to count on Malcom, Malcom has to help us.

“There is one person who decides in this, that’s the majority shareholder. He talked about this at the weekend, but football remains football.”

Aubameyang transfer request

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has handed in a transfer request and is ready to force through a move to Arsenal, according to reports.

The 28-year-old was left out of Borussia Dortmund’s goalless draw with Wolfsburg, with their coach Peter Stöger explaining that the striker was being punished for missing a team meeting.

And now the German publication Bild is reporting that Aubameyang has handed in a transfer request having effectively isolated himself at the club.

As reported by The Independent’s Miguel Delaney, Dortmund need to sell Aubameyang if they are to resign Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who is close to leaving Manchester United.

Arsenal had also expressed an interest in the Armenian, but it is understood that Dortmund will only allow Aubameyang to leave if they are able to locate a replacement first. And to resign Mkhitaryan, they need to free up the funds for his large salary.

Sanchez dependent on Mkhitaryan

Manchester United now have their own player Mkhitaryan standing between them and confirming the signing of Alexis Sanchez – one way or another.

Arsenal initially wanted Anthony Martial as a makeweight – something that was dismissed out of hand by United – but are happy to let Mkhitaryan leave, something that seems essential to facilitate Sanchez’s Old Trafford arrival.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan looks set to leave Old Trafford after falling out of favour (Getty)

His agent Mino Raiola has insisted it is Sanchez who is the makeweight in Mkhitaryan’s transfer to Arsenal, and not the other way around.

“Manchester United are not going to sign Sanchez unless Mkhi agrees to join Arsenal,” he told The Times. “Mkhi is going to do what is best for him. He has two-and-a-half years left on his contract, so it’s his decision. Sanchez is part of the Mkhi deal, not the other way around.”

Other rumours from around the web

David Moyes may have publicly denied that he is aware of a Chelsea bid for Andy Carroll, however West Ham bosses are willing to listen to offers of £20m, according to Sky Sports. The striker was absent from the squad for the Hammers' 1-0 FA Cup replay win over League One side Shrewsbury on Tuesday, however the manager insisted this was down to an ankle injury. Speculation that the 29-year-old could go to Stamford Bridge on loan came as Antonio Conte was said to be looking to enhance their attacking capability. The Daily Telegraph says Chelsea have contacted West Ham about signing him permanently during the January window.

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Theo Walcott will complete his £20m move to Everton on Wednesday after spending Tuesday afternoon at the Toffees' training ground Finch Farm for a medical and finalising terms, the Liverpool Echo reports. After nearly 12 years with the Gunners the 28-year-old England forward is expected to be in the Blues' squad for their West Brom clash at Goodison Park on Saturday.

Jose Mourinho is close to signing a new five-year contract with United, according to The Sun. The new deal is two years longer than his initial agreement with United, which saw him signed up for three years in May 2016. The Portuguese 54-year-old is reportedly on £250,000-a-week, said to be the same as Manchester City rival Pep Guardiola, making them the Premier League's highest-paid managers. United's top brass will likely be happy with their investment, as Mourinho has reinvigorated the side who lost their spirit under previous boss Louis Van Gaal, the newspaper says.