Everton miss out as Barcelona star confirms move to Zenit

Nestor Watach

Brazilian forward Malcom has left Barcelona after a single season to sign a five-year deal with Zenit St Petersburg.

The 22-year-old had been linked to join Marco Silva’s project at Everton, who are reportedly in the market for a new wide attacker.

The Toffees will have to look elsewhere if they want a player of that profile, which could reignite a potential deal for Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha.

Malcom made only 15 LaLiga appearances, scoring once, for the Spanish champions after arriving at the Nou Camp from Bordeaux in July 2018.

Zenit boss Sergei Semak told the club website: “We looked at Malcom a year ago but the transfer fee was too much for us – this year we had an opportunity to sign him.

“We understand the level of competition at Barcelona and why he had insufficient playing time. Malcom has decided to join our club, so we are very pleased.”

The Brazil international leaves the Catalan club with a league title, whilst his time at the club also saw him score a couple of memorable goals.

He equalised as Barcelona knocked Real Madrid out of the Copa Del Rey, whilst he was also on the scoresheet at the San Siro in the Champions League group stage fixture against Inter Milan.

Zenit’s announcement video on Twitter made a hilarious reference to Roma’s failed move to land the superstar last summer, before Barcelona gazumped them at the last minute.

Earlier in the week, the Daily Mail reported that Everton had come in with a cheeky last-minute bid in order to emulate Barcelona’s last-second transfer last summer.

Barcelona have a good relationship with Everton, having sold Andre Gomes to them already this summer, and it was suggested that they’d rather have sold to them than Zenit, but the move never materialised in the end.

On the Zaha front, Everton have less competition for his signature after Arsenal announced a club-record deal for Lille winger Nicolas Pepe.