Malcom is one of Brazil’s most talented advanced playmakers, and on Thursday a report by the Italian journalist Alfredo Pedulla suggested that he might be on his way to RB Leipzig. This report, published on Pedulla’s homepage came just the day after one of Germany’s most talented strikers, Davie Selke from Werder Bremen, signed a deal with Leipzig that would see the striker move to Leipzig at the beginning of next season.
Leipzig’s sporting director Ralf Rangnick, however, responded with the usual caveat telling German papers that Leipzig were not interested in the Brazilian. But Ragnick has a tradition of targeting and developing young Brazilian talent. At Hoffenheim he managed to fast track the club’s development by signing the young Brazilian Carlos Eduardo, who was the most expensive transfer in 2. Bundesliga history at the time, as well as defensive midfielder Luiz Gustavo, who know plays a key role at Brazil’s Seleção .
The story was later picked up by Transfermarkt.de, which attributes percentages to show readers how likely a transfer might be. In this case Transfermarkt has calculated the possibility of the transfer actually happening at 58%, which is high for a transfer story that is based on one source only.
Despite Ragnick’s denial, FutebolCidade has since learned that Leipzig and Corinthians are indeed in negotiations over a possible deal for the player. Leipzig wants to buy Malcom, who’s transfer value is calculated to be €4 million by Transfermarkt, but Corinthians want at least €9 million plus future bonus payments for the player, which could see the cost rise to €11 million. The public denial that Leipzig is interested in the player, however, suggests that Leipzig wants to lower this price.
Although Leipzig will not be playing in the UEFA competitions for at least another season, the 2. Bundesliga club has ambitions to become a strong powerhouse in German football that regularly competes in European competitions, and as such will sooner or later come under the jurisdiction of UEFA Financial Fair Play regulations.
Ragnick’s denial is most likely part of a strategy to lower the Malcom’s transfer value, as it is an open secret that Corinthians are extremely cash strapped, and may need to accept an offer far below the asked for €8 million plus bonuses. Furthermore, last December Malcom had asked for a 900% wage increase, money that Corinthians was unable to pay, making it likely that they will sell indeed.
Leipzig’s strategy may also hinge on buying young Brazilian players now in order to sell them for a profit later, as Ragnick’s former club Hoffenheim was able to do when they sold Carlos Eduardo for €20 million to the Russian club Rubin Kazan, and later Luiz Gustavo to Bayern Munich (although Rangnick was opposed to the later transfer, and even resigned as a result). Malcom’s transfer to Leipzig therefore clearly means that RB Leipzig is attempting the Hoffenheim model to ensure promotion to the 1. Bundesliga next season.
Furthermore, the transfer would also aid Red Bull’s business strategy, as the company wants to ascertain itself in the lucrative Brazilian market. Red Bull is already competing with other agencies, such as Traffic, by maintaining a youth academy in the country, and signing a Brazilian talent for the company’s flagship club could help the growth of the brand in Brazil.