Malcom's move from Barcelona to Russian Premier League side Zenit has been completed, with the deal worth a total of €45million.

The 22-year-old missed training on Thursday, with Barca announcing Malcom had been granted permission to "resolve his future".

Malcom joined LaLiga giants Barca from Bordeaux in 2018 for a deal rising to €42m, after making a late decision to head to Camp Nou rather than Roma in Serie A.

However, he failed to find his feet in Spain, making only six starts in LaLiga, with the highlight of his time at Camp Nou coming when he scored in a 1-1 Clasico draw against Real Madrid.

In total, Malcom scored four goals in 24 appearances in all competitions, with Barca confirming they have "retained an interest in the future sale of the Brazilian."

"Barcelona expressly thanks Malcom for his commitment and dedication, and wishes him success in the future," a statement on Barca's website read.

Malcom came through the ranks at Corinthians before switching to Bordeaux in 2015.

A breakthrough season came in 2016/17, with the winger scoring seven Ligue 1 goals, and he maintained his form heading into the following campaign, in which he netted 12 times.

His impressive form saw him come to the attention of Roma only for Barca to hijack his move to the Italian capital.

But with Barca having spent big on Frenkie de Jong and Antoine Griezmann, Malcom has now been deemed surplus to requirements at Camp Nou.

Zenit lead the way in Russia's top flight with three wins from three so far this season, and Malcom could be in line to make his debut against Krasnodar on Saturday.

Malcom's move from Barcelona to Russian Premier League side Zenit has been completed, with the deal worth a total of €45million.

Barcelona winger Malcom missed training on Thursday in order to finalise a move away from the club, with Zenit his expected destination.

The 22-year-old is reportedly due to be in St Petersburg on Friday to complete a medical after Barca accepted an offer in the region of €40million.

In a short message published on Twitter, Barca said: "Malcom is not training with permission of the club in order to resolve his future."

The Brazilian joined the Catalans from Bordeaux last year in a deal rising to €42m, after making a late decision to head to Camp Nou rather than Roma in Serie A.

However, he managed just six starts in LaLiga under Ernesto Valverde in 2018-19 and scored only four goals in 25 appearances in total in all competitions.

Barca are believed to be eager to generate funds after signing Frenkie de Jong, Neto and Antoine Griezmann in deals that could cost as much as €241m overall.

They recouped €35m for Jasper Cillessen, who moved to Valencia, while the departures of Andre Gomes, Paco Alcacer, Denis Suarez and Marc Cardona have helped to bolster their funds.

The sale of Malcom could help in their pursuit of Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar, although any deal for the forward, who left in a €222m deal two years ago, is seemingly far from completion.

Manchester United may have identified a potential replacement for Romelu Lukaku.

Lukaku has been heavily linked with a switch to Inter, although progress on the striker's potential move from Old Trafford has been slow.

However, United are preparing if the Belgium international does depart, with Moussa Dembele reportedly on their shortlist.

 

TOP STORY – MAN UNITED EYE DEMBELE AS LUKAKU REPLACEMENT

Lyon striker Dembele will be on Manchester United's shortlist if they sell Lukaku to Inter, according to Sky Sports News.

The former Fulham and Celtic striker enjoyed a fine first season with the Ligue 1 giants, scoring 20 goals in all competitions.

United have also been linked to Lille's Nicolas Pepe, but the report says they see Dembele as a better replacement for Lukaku.

ROUND-UP

- Mauro Icardi is almost certain to leave Inter and the forward was contacted by Boca Juniors, according to Fox Sports Argentina. However, they say Icardi will not make the move to his homeland.

- Another forward set for a possible move is Radamel Falcao. According to Soccer Link, Valencia have expressed an interest in the Monaco star.

- Barcelona have continually been linked with a move for Real Betis left-back Junior Firpo and, according to Sport, the defender is their priority. The Spain Under-21 international is seen as a possible future replacement for Jordi Alba, but Barca reportedly do not want to pay more than €20million, even though Junior's release clause is said to be closer to €50m.

- Wilfried Zaha is a reported target for Arsenal, but it seems Everton could be ready to pounce to sign the Crystal Palace star. The Daily Mail says Everton are prepared to make an opening offer of £55m.

- Rafinha has options should he want to move from Barcelona. According to Sport, the midfielder has offers from Valencia and Serie A clubs Atalanta and Fiorentina.

- Borussia Dortmund want to land Barcelona attacker Malcom. According to Goal, Dortmund could pay €42m for Malcom, just a year after the 22-year-old made the move from Bordeaux for the same fee.

With Paul Pogba's future far from certain, Manchester United are determined to boost their midfield.

Lazio star Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has emerged as a transfer target for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's United.

And a move to Old Trafford could be imminent for the Serbia international…

 

TOP STORY – MILINKOVIC-SAVIC SET FOR UNITED

Manchester United are on the verge of signing Lazio midfielder Milinkovic-Savic, reports La Repubblica.

According to the Italian newspaper, a deal is practically done for €75million plus various add-ons, with Milinkovic-Savic to sign a five-year contract.

The report comes as Real Madrid apparently accelerate their effort to prise Pogba from United.

ROUND-UP

- According to Le Parisien, Paris Saint-Germain have made a €32m (£28.7m) offer for Everton midfielder Idrissa Gueye. The Senegal international is tipped to become PSG's sixth signing of the off-season.

- Lille have rejected an offer from Manchester United for star forward Nicolas Pepe, according to Yahoo Sports France. With United's Romelu Lukaku keen to join Inter, Pepe has been linked to the Premier League giants and he is reportedly open to moving to Old Trafford.

- According to ElDesmarque, Roma and Everton are vying to sign Malcom from Barcelona. Roma thought they had signed Malcom last season but the Brazilian sensationally opted for the LaLiga giants at the last minute.

Inter are ready to renew their pursuit of Roma striker Edin Dzeko, according to Calciomercato. It comes as the Serie A side struggle to reach a deal with United for Lukaku.

- According to reports in United Kingdom, Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi is set to sign a lucrative five-year deal worth £100,000-a-week.

- Manchester City defender Nicolas Otamendi has emerged as a possible target for AC Milan, says Calciomercato. Milan have reportedly failed in their attempts to sign Merih Demiral or Daniele Rugani from Juventus.

- According to widespread reports, Andre Silva's move from AC Milan to Monaco has collapsed. RMC Sport in France says the deal is definitely off, while La Repubblica claims the Portugal international failed to agree personal terms. Milan, however, are reportedly still confident of signing Angel Correa from Atletico Madrid.

Maybe Juventus are not ready to give up on signing Manchester United star Paul Pogba just yet.

Pogba, 26, has been linked with a return to Turin and a move to Real Madrid as he looks for an Old Trafford exit.

But, just as it looked like Juve were struggling and Madrid was the midfielder's most likely destination, that may have changed.

 

TOP STORY – JUVE TO OFFER THREE PLAYERS IN MOVE FOR POGBA

Juventus could offer a fee plus three players in their move for Manchester United star Pogba, according to Corriere dello Sport.

Full-back Joao Cancelo, attacker Douglas Costa and midfielder Blaise Matuidi are the players mentioned for potential moves in the report.

Meanwhile, ESPN FC report Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has told coach Zinedine Zidane that it will be very difficult to sign Pogba this close season.

 

ROUND-UP

- Barcelona are still trying to find a way to bring Neymar back to Camp Nou from Paris Saint-Germain. According to Sky Germany, Barca are offering €100million plus two players, having given PSG a list of six that includes Philippe Coutinho, Ousmane Dembele, Ivan Rakitic, Nelson Semedo and Malcom. That is up from the earlier offer of €40m plus two players. According to Sport, Barca have made Coutinho and Rakitic priorities to be sold.

- After being linked to Bayern Munich, Callum Hudson-Odoi is set to re-sign with Chelsea. The Daily Mail report the 18-year-old England international will sign a five-year deal worth more than £100,000 per week to stay at Stamford Bridge.

- Giovani Lo Celso apparently wants to join Tottenham, but Spurs are unwilling to meet Real Betis' £60m (€66.8m) asking price, according to The Sun, who say Erik Lamela could be added into a deal. Danny Rose could also reportedly leave Spurs and Sky Sports say PSG are interested in the left-back.

- Arsenal have beaten their north London rivals to the signing of Saint-Etienne defender William Saliba, according to ESPN FC. Arsenal will complete the signing of Saliba for £26.9m (€30m) and loan him back to the Ligue 1 club despite late interest from Spurs, the report says.

- Another reported Arsenal target, Wilfried Zaha, has told Crystal Palace he wants to leave, according to The Sun. Arsenal have reportedly had a £40m bid for the attacker rejected.

- Bayern Munich are ready to meet Celta Vigo midfielder Brais Mendez's €25m release clause, according to Kicker. Mendez, 22, was handed a Spain debut late last year and scored six goals while providing seven assists for Celta in LaLiga in 2018-19.

Where will Neymar be playing in 2019-20? It is the €222million question.

After joining Paris Saint-Germain for a world-record fee in 2017, Neymar wants to leave the Ligue 1 champions.

Only a select few of Europe's elite can afford the Brazil superstar. Could a sensational move to Turin be on the cards?

 

TOP STORY – NEYMAR SR TO TALK TO JUVE

Neymar could team up with Cristiano Ronaldo at Serie A champions Juventus.

That is according to Rai Sport following a report claiming Neymar's father will meet Juve sporting director Fabio Paratici in Turin.

Neymar wants to leave Paris Saint-Germain following his world-record €222m transfer in 2017 and the Brazil international has been linked with a return to Barcelona and LaLiga giants Real Madrid.

 

ROUND-UP

- The future of Luka Modric is once again in the spotlight, but the Real Madrid star is reluctant to leave, according to Marca amid interest from AC Milan. The speculation comes as the Rossoneri also look to bolster their defence. Gianluca Di Marzio says Milan are keen on signing €40m-rated Merih Demiral from Juventus, while Tuttosport reports the Italian giants have turned to Manchester United's Eric Bailly after being put off by Liverpool's valuation of Dejan Lovren.

- With Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben no longer around, Bayern Munich are desperate to reinforce their wide areas but the Independent claims the Bundesliga champions have given up on signing Callum Hudson-Odoi from Chelsea.

- Lyon captain Nabil Fekir is attracting a lot of interest from LaLiga and Valencia are now in pole position to sign the France international, according to Le10Sport. Diario Sport says Barcelona's Rafinha Alcantara is also hopeful of joining Valencia.

- According to Marca, Barcelona are ready to sell Arsenal and Tottenham target Malcom for £55m (€60.9m). Everton and Paris Saint-Germain are also reportedly interested in Malcom, who only arrived from Bordeaux in 2018-19.

- CalcioMercato claims Premier League giants Manchester United have entered the race to sign Roma sensation Nicolo Zaniolo. The 20-year-old has reportedly been involved in a tug-of-war between Tottenham and Juventus.

Inter are edging closer to Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku, who sat out Wednesday's friendly win over Leeds United in Australia. However, Corriere dello Sport also says Paris Saint-Germain's Edinson Cavani is an alternative for the Serie A side.

After what feels like years of flirting and transfer speculation, Antoine Griezmann is finally a Barcelona player and it is a move that could ruffle a few feathers at Camp Nou.

Griezmann's arrival comes 13 months after the France star committed his future to Atletico in a documentary, rebuffing Barca and signing a new five-year contract at the time.

But, with Atletico's season fading away in May, Griezmann and the Madrid club published a video to Twitter in which the forward confirmed his desire to leave.

Barca's failure in the Champions League and Copa del Rey was proof of a need for Ernesto Valverde's squad to be improved and there can be little doubt his arrival achieves that.

However, there are reasons for trepidation for several of Griezmann's new team-mates, as we have examined…

 

Philippe Coutinho

Despite a promising start, it is fair to say Coutinho's time at Camp Nou has not gone to plan since joining from Liverpool for a reported €160m in January 2018. The Brazil international has failed to nail down a regular spot in midfield or attack, starting only 22 league games in 2018-19, often filling in either role with minimal success to make him a frequent target for jeers. If Barca see Coutinho as more of a forward, there may not be space for him with Griezmann's arrival, with first-team opportunities likely to be even trickier to come by. Linked with a move, the former Liverpool star would not be short of suitors, particularly in England.

Ousmane Dembele

Like Coutinho, Dembele was brought in as part of the post-Neymar splurge. While the winger is undoubtedly talented and has shown flashes of his potential, his Barca career has been interrupted by injuries and reports of immaturity. Few can argue Griezmann is not a model professional, even if his behaviour over the past year or so has angered Atleti and his new employers. Perhaps, as an international team-mate and fellow World Cup-winner, Griezmann might just be the influence Dembele, whose move could eventually be worth €145m, needs to find his best.

Luis Suarez

In the opening months of last season Suarez showed signs of decline, as he endured a couple of uncharacteristic droughts. Thankfully for Barca he recovered and has managed to score 21 goals in LaLiga, though his form in the Champions League remains a concern, the Uruguayan netting just five times in his past 29 games in the competition.

While there is no suggestion Griezmann is set to replace Suarez, the fact the Frenchman could fill in for him and allow him more rest can only be a good thing, particularly with the former Ajax star now 32 years old. However, for the two to co-exist, they may need to bury the hatchet, with Suarez unimpressed by Griezmann's efforts to show respect to Uruguay - a country he professes to love - after his goal against them for France at the World Cup.

 

Lionel Messi

The main man, the superstar and the one who makes everything tick. None of that will change if Griezmann arrives. Messi was inspirational again last season, scoring 36 times in 34 LaLiga games. He was used a little more sparingly and Griezmann's potential arrival could allow him more rest, but the Argentine's status as top dog will certainly remain either way. Nevertheless, another superstar forward might just alleviate some of the goal-scoring burden.

Malcom

A transfer that promised much has yielded little. Brazilian winger Malcom is almost certain to leave Barca over the next month or so, and his departure will surely be hastened now a deal for Griezmann has been struck. A gifted player that Barca pipped Roma to at the last minute in July 2018, it has been pretty clear from the outset that he does not have Valverde's faith. Links with Sevilla soon vanished after Monchi - the scorned sporting director of the Giallorossi last year - returned to the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, though he will likely have plenty of options should the Catalan decide to offload him.

Romelu Lukaku is on the other side of the globe and his future is still up in the air.

In Australia for Manchester United's pre-season tour, Lukaku remains a Red Devils player but he is reportedly keen to leave Old Trafford.

Linked to Inter, this could drag on for a while…

 

TOP STORY – INTER STEP UP LUKAKU CHASE

Inter will travel to England to try to complete a transfer for Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku, Sky Sports reports.

With Ole Gunnar Solskjaer preferring Marcus Rashford up front, €80million-rated Lukaku wants to leave and Inter have emerged as frontrunners to sign the 26-year-old.

Serie A champions Juventus are also reportedly interested but Inter head coach Antonio Conte, who missed out on signing Lukaku during his time as Chelsea boss in 2017, is desperate to bring him to Milan.

 

ROUND-UP

Paris Saint-Germain are willing to part with Neymar for €150m, according to El Pais. Neymar – linked with a return to Camp Nou and Real Madrid – arrived from Barcelona in a world-record €222m transfer in 2017.

Paul Pogba wants to leave Manchester United amid doubts over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's ability to deliver silverware at Old Trafford, according to The Sun. Pogba has been linked to Real Madrid and Juventus.

- According to the front page of Corriere dello Sport, Napoli are stepping up their pursuit of Valencia forward Rodrigo. The 28-year-old is valued at €70m by the LaLiga club. Meanwhile, Sport Mediaset reports Napoli are poised to sign Eljif Elmas with the Fenerbahce midfielder set to undergo a medical.

- The Suns says Arsenal are planning to hijack Premier League rivals Everton's move for Barcelona winger Malcom. The Brazilian, who struggled to establish himself at Camp Nou last season, has emerged as a target for the Gunners – who look to have moved on from pursuing Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha.

Roma have met with the agent of Real Madrid forward Mariano Diaz, according to Gianluca Di Marzio. Mariano only returned to the Santiago Bernabeu last season, having left for Lyon in 2017.

- According to Gianluca Di Marzio, Leicester City have entered the race to sign Arsenal and Valencia target Dennis Praet from Sampdoria.

Atletico Madrid striker and former Chelsea star Diego Costa has an agreement with Wolves, reports Globo Esporte.

Real Madrid want Paul Pogba and the LaLiga giants are confident the Manchester United midfielder would reject a possible return to Juventus.

Pogba, 26, is set to leave Old Trafford this close season, just three years after returning to the Premier League club from Juve.

The France international is heavily linked with a move to Madrid, but the Serie A champions are also reportedly interested.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID BELIEVE POGBA WILL REJECT JUVE RETURN

Real Madrid feel Pogba will opt against a return to Juventus even if the chance presented itself, according to the Daily Mail.

The report says Pogba wants to play for compatriot and Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane and experience a new league.

Pogba has travelled with United for their pre-season tour, but his agent recently said the midfielder wants an exit.

ROUND-UP

- Madrid are set to raise some funds by selling James Rodriguez to Napoli. Marca report Napoli sporting director Cristiano Giuntoli is in Madrid with James' agent, with the LaLiga side wanting €42million for the playmaker. Napoli, meanwhile, want an option to buy later.

- Mauro Icardi is unwanted at Inter, with Napoli and Juventus linked with the forward. Corriere dello Sport report Juve president Andrea Agnelli was meeting with agent Gabriele Giuffrida, who could be the intermediary for negotiations between the Serie A champions and Inter.

- Manchester United appear to be searching for a midfielder this close season and they are linked with a surprise move for Tiemoue Bakayoko. RMC Sport say United have made contact with Chelsea about Bakayoko, back at Stamford Bridge after a loan spell at AC Milan, while Paris Saint-Germain are also chasing the French midfielder.

- Juventus are willing to sell Joao Cancelo. According to Corriere Torino, Maurizio Sarri has approved the sale of the full-back, who has been linked to Manchester City and Bayern Munich.

- Everton are looking to strengthen with the addition of a forward. Sport report the Premier League club are willing to offer £31.4m (€35m) for Barcelona forward Malcom, who has also attracted interest from Arsenal. Meanwhile, La Gazzetta dello Sport say Everton had a £26.9m (€30m) offer for teenage Juventus forward Moise Kean turned down.

- Like Icardi unwanted at Inter, Radja Nainggolan has offers from China. Gianluca Di Marzio reports the Belgian midfielder is evaluating offers from Chinese Super League (CSL) clubs Dalian Yifang and Shanghai Shenhua.

Antoine Griezmann announced his intention to leave Atletico Madrid on Tuesday after five years at the club, surprising few who had seen reports of Barcelona's interest resurface in recent weeks.

It comes less than 12 months after the Frenchman committed his future in Atletico in a documentary, rebuffing Barca and signing a new five-year contract at the time.

But with Atletico's season fading away and Barca going for a domestic double, Griezmann and his club published a video to Twitter in which the forward confirmed he is seeking a move.

Griezmann's contract has a €120million release clause in it, meaning Atletico will expect to be heavily compensated should a transfer go through, and Barca are firm favourites to bring him in following their long-held admiration.

Although Barca could yet add the Copa del Rey to their LaLiga title, their Champions League quarter-final exit was proof of a need for Ernesto Valverde's side to be improved.

Should Barca finally get their man, there will be several stars already at the club who will take particular interest in the arrival…

 

Philippe Coutinho

Despite a promising start, it's fair to say Coutinho's time at Camp Nou has not gone to plan since joining from Liverpool for a reported €160m in January 2018. This season the Brazilian has failed to nail down a regular spot in midfield or attack, often filling in either role with minimal success and he is a frequent target for jeers. If Barca see Coutinho as more of a forward, there may not be space for him should Griezmann arrive, with first-team opportunities likely to be even trickier to come by. Linked with a move, the former Liverpool star could be heading back to England.

Ousmane Dembele

Like Coutinho, Dembele was brought in as part of the post-Neymar splurge. While the winger is undoubtedly talented and has shown flashes of his potential, his Barca career has been interrupted by injuries and reports of immaturity. Few can argue Griezmann is not a model professional. Perhaps, as an international team-mate and fellow World Cup-winner, Griezmann might just be the influence Dembele needs to find his best.

Luis Suarez

In the opening months of the season Suarez showed signs of decline, as he endured a couple of uncharacteristic droughts. Thankfully for Barca he recovered and has managed to score 21 goals in LaLiga, though his form in the Champions League remains a concern, the Uruguayan netting just five times in his past 29 games in the competition.

While there's no suggestion Griezmann is set to replace Suarez, the fact the Frenchman could fill in for him and allow him more rests can only be a good thing, particularly with the former Ajax star now 32 years old. However, for the two to co-exist, they may need to bury the hatchet, with Suarez unimpressed by Griezmann's efforts to show respect to Uruguay after his goal against them for France at the World Cup.

Lionel Messi

The main man, the superstar and the one who makes everything tick. None of that will change if Griezmann arrives. Messi has been inspirational again this season, scoring 34 times in 33 LaLiga games. He has been used a little more sparingly and Griezmann's potential arrival could allow him more rest, but the Argentine's status as top dog will certainly remain either way. Nevertheless, another superstar forward might just alleviate some of the goal-scoring burden.

Malcom

A transfer that appeared to promise much has yielded little. Brazilian winger Malcom is almost certain to leave Barca at the end of the season, his departure something that will surely be hastened if a deal for Griezmann is struck. A gifted player that Barca pipped Roma to at the last minute in July 2018, it's been pretty clear from the outset that he doesn't have Valverde's faith. Sevilla, who look set for a close-season rebuild, are rumoured to be interested, though sporting director Monchi – in charge at Roma when Malcom rejected them – might not be willing to offer him a lifeline.

A much-changed Barcelona were held to a 0-0 draw by Huesca on Saturday as they moved 12 points clear of second-place Atletico Madrid at the top of LaLiga.

Head coach Ernesto Valverde left out Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Sergio Busquets, Gerard Pique and Ivan Rakitic against LaLiga's bottom club, who have only won five matches all season.

The result is unlikely to do much good to their survival chances, but Barca remain firmly on course for the title and will be grateful to have rested several key performers.

Barca made 10 changes to the side that beat Manchester United 1-0 on Wednesday, with debuts for Moussa Wague and Jean-Clair Todibo and first LaLiga appearances for the club for Riqui Puig and Jeison Murillo.

Ousmane Dembele also made his first start since March 2, having recovered from a thigh injury, as he looks to regain full sharpness ahead of a crucial run of matches.

Roberto Santamaria did well to tip a Dembele effort around the post after a fine reverse pass from Puig, but chances were scarce early on for Valverde's makeshift side.

The visitors had little to concern them in front of their own goal in the first half, but Marc-Andre ter Stegen - the only player to keep his place from the win at United - made a timely intervention with his leg to deny Enric Gallego a shot on the turn.

Malcom then struck a swerving shot that fooled Santamaria but smacked against the left-hand post, and Dembele blasted another decent opportunity wide, but there was to be no breakthrough.

What does it mean? Barca make the most of pre-United break

Valverde will be pleased to have been able to rest so many of his top performers, as well as give Dembele an important run-out, ahead of the return meeting with United.

The back-up options fielded here did well enough to earn a draw that moves Barca 12 points clear at the top of the table, and even though Atletico can close the gap to nine if they beat Celta Vigo, the title race is firmly still in the champions' hands.

As for Huesca, they are five points from safety at the foot of the table and their situation is beginning to look bleak.

Puig the pick of a peculiar bunch

It might have been something of a strange line-up, but Puig took his chance to impress in his first league outing. The 19-year-old was industrious with and without the ball and certainly did not seem intimidated by a few heavy challenges.

Malcom in a muddle

This was only Malcom's third start in LaLiga, but it was probably his least effective. He was not great in possession and made a mess of a few promising positions down the Barca left - although he was unlucky to hit the woodwork.

What's next?

Barca face United at Camp Nou on Tuesday and host Real Sociedad in LaLiga next Saturday. Huesca have a week off before a potentially critical trip to second-bottom Rayo Vallecano.

Barcelona winger Malcom denied he has felt under pressure to impress this season following his star performance in Wednesday's Clasico against Real Madrid.

The Brazilian cancelled out Lucas Vazquez's sixth-minute opener to ensure the Copa del Rey semi-final first leg at Camp Nou finished 1-1.

Malcom has found regular football hard to come by since his €42million move from Bordeaux last July, the 21-year-old making just one start in LaLiga, although he has featured in all five of Barca's Copa matches this season.

With Lionel Messi fit enough only to come on as a substitute, Ousmane Dembele missing through injury and Philippe Coutinho struggling badly for form, Malcom's decisive showing came at an important time.

However, he insists he has always felt at ease in his time in Spain, despite his relative lack of involvement.

"I've always been calm, just like when I arrived," he said, as quoted by Sport. "I have friends who give me confidence, I have family, agents all fighting for me and also my team-mates. I have a lot of support.

"It was a goal that helped us get back into the tie. We will go to the [Santiago] Bernabeu with confidence."

Malcom admitted he was left fatigued by his efforts, after Carles Alena replaced him with 14 minutes remaining.

"I was a little tired," he said. "I have not played much recently, but I'm more confident. I will work hard to improve and play a little more."

Sergio Busquets felt Wednesday's 1-1 Copa del Rey draw between Barcelona and Real Madrid was a fair result between "the best two teams in Spain and Europe".

Lucas Vazquez put the visitors ahead after just six minutes of the semi-final first leg at Camp Nou, but Malcom struck in the second half to ensure the scores are level at the midway point of the tie.

There was little to split the teams, with each managing 11 shots and Barca edging possession by 14 per cent, although Madrid return to the Santiago Bernabeu with the slight advantage of an away goal.

Busquets believes the draw was the right result, saying after the match: "In general terms, the draw is fair. It was an equal game. Everything will be decided in the second leg.

"There were enough chances for anyone to take the game. It's still 50-50, although we play at their home.

"There are no favourites in these games. We're the best two teams in Spain and Europe."

Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas agreed, saying: "It was a good game. All the players suffered when they had to. Both want to be in the final and we want to do things better to achieve that.

"We both had chances."

Malcom's goal was only his third for Barca since his arrival from Bordeaux in a €42million deal last July.

Busquets hopes the Brazilian has been given a boost as he looks to force his way into Ernesto Valverde's regular first-team plans.

"A goal gives you a lot in terms of confidence," said the midfielder. "We hope everyone helps and the coach will decide."

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