Gus Poyet has insisted that resurgent Bordeaux must prepare themselves for the future departure of forward Malcom, admitting that the highly-rated Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur target will move on "sooner or later".
Malcom, 20, has established a reputation as one of European football's most promising attacking talents since joining Les Girondins from Corinthians in 2016, scoring 19 goals and providing 15 assists in 85 appearances across all competitions.
He has thus far netted eight times - including in the 3-1 defeat of Lyon on 28 January - during an initially trying campaign at the Matmut Atlantique that saw Poyet drafted in to replace Jocelyn Gourvennec last month, after which Bordeaux extended their winning streak to four matches and returned to the race for fifth spot in Ligue 1 before being narrowly beaten by Marseille on Sunday (18 February).
Malcom found himself at the centre of fervent transfer speculation during the January window, with north London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham both heavily linked with his services and Liverpool and previously Manchester United also referenced as potential suitors.
Bordeaux remained adamant that he was not for sale and as such a widely-anticipated exit never came to fruition, but a summer move now looks very likely after the former Brazilian Under-23 international recently admitted that there is an agreement in place for him to depart at the end of the current season.
"Yes, there was a promise that I will be negotiating in June," he told Brazilian outlet UOL. "I will choose the team, and Bordeaux will let me go."
That claim was later contradicted in quotes attributed to club president Stephane Martin by Tribal Football, which stated that the situation would be reviewed again in the summer but that nothing had been promised.
Speaking to Spanish daily publication Marca on Monday [19 February], Poyet dubbed Malcom a special, match-winning player and is clearly under no illusions with regards to his long-term future.
"He is a special player who can win matches on his own," he said. "He is often double-marked because his talent is that special, and in January we were nervous because we almost lost him to the Premier League. We must prepare for this because sooner or later he will leave."
Arsenal eventually appeared to cool their January pursuit of Malcom having swapped Alexis Sanchez for Henrikh Mkhitaryan and also secured the £56m ($78.4m) club-record arrival of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Borussia Dortmund, while Tottenham eventually swooped for another France-based player by signing Paris Saint-Germain's Lucas Moura for a £23m fee on deadline day.
The Sun claimed earlier this week that both rivals were set to be offered the chance to sign £45m-rated Malcom - who will be suspended for next weekend's clash with Nice unless Bordeaux succeed in their appeal against a retrospective one-match ban for simulation - again this summer, when he will hope to go to the World Cup in Russia after being placed on Brazil head coach Tite's "observation list" and watched by assistant Sylvinho against Marseille, per ESPN.