Transfer Rumor Roundup: Butland to Liverpool; Malcom to Arsenal

Joe Prince-Wright
NBC Sports

Liverpool could be set to spend more of the $197 million they received for Philippe Coutinho on shoring up their defense.

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After splashing out a club-record $100 million on Virgil Van Dijk earlier in January to make him the most expensive defender in the world, the Daily Star says that the Reds will try to sign Jack Butland in the summer.

The Stoke and England goalkeeper, still just 24 years old, will reportedly be a top target to replace Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius in goal who have both struggled at times over the past 12-18 months.

With Butland battling relegation with Stoke between now and the end of the season, the Potters won’t sell him in January, but if they do go down then surely they won’t stand in the way of their England international moving on.

Butland has all the attributes to be England’s first-choice goalkeeper for the next decade and beyond and after recovering from his recent injury problems he is one of the few Stoke players who performed well this season.

Arsenal continued to be linked with a move for Bordeaux’s Brazilian forward Malcom.

On Friday, Arsene Wenger said that Malcom, 20, was a “good player but at the moment nothing is happening” with regards to a $55 million deal.

However, later in his press conference the Arsenal manager did hint that if Alexis Sanchez was allowed to leave in January then it would only be if the Gunners had a replacement lined up.

So, what is Malcolm all about? Firstly, this screamer he scored last month turned plenty of heads and the youngster has put in consistent displays in Ligue 1 over the past two seasons for Bordeaux. He arrived in France from Brazilian powerhouse Corinthians in 2015 and is a member of the Brazilian U-23 national team.

Malcom has scored seven goals in 20 appearances for Bordeaux this season and 18 in 78 appearances since 2015.

Close to $60 million is a lot to play for a promising young attacker, especially when Arsenal appear to have plenty of talent coming through the system, but if they sell Theo Walcott to Everton and offload Sanchez, Wenger will be a little short in attack.

With Tottenham and others said to have been sniffing around Malcom, Arsenal will likely have to act in January before his name is added to Wenger’s now infamous list of players “he looked at” as a youngster…

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