Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has sought to cool mounting speculation linking the club with an imminent January move for highly-rated Bordeaux forward and reported Arsenal target Malcom, describing it as merely a rumour.
Arsenal were believed to have identified the young Brazilian as part of their plan to replace Manchester United-bound Alexis Sanchez and it was claimed last week that they were primed to beat their north London rivals to a deal.
However, The Telegraph have since reported that Tottenham have emerged as the new favourites to sign Malcom for an initial fee of approximately €40m (£35.3m, $49m) after holding talks with his representatives in London last week.
It was suggested that an agreement should be reached soon and that Spurs could pay an additional €10m in add-ons for a player eager to work alongside Pochettino, with Arsenal now focused on getting the straight swap deal involving Sanchez and Henrikh Mkhitaryan over the line and also agreeing a price with Borussia Dortmund for wantaway striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
However, the Tottenham boss batted away that speculation after watching his side lose ground on their top-four rivals with a below-par 1-1 draw away to struggling Southampton that saw top scorer Harry Kane head home a 99th Premier League goal and his 21st of the season so far to quickly cancel out Davinson Sanchez's early OG.
"No no, that is a rumour," Pochettino told Sky Sports in his post-match broadcast interview when asked as to the likelihood of Malcom heading to Tottenham. "I'm not going to speak about rumours. I am happy with the squad, I am happy with the players we have.
"If we can add some quality players that can help us, we are open. We work in different names and different options, but you know very well that it's so difficult in this transfer window to add some players that can help the team."
Malcom, who was recently summoned to attend a disciplinary interview at Bordeaux after appearing in a social media video that angered fans following the 2-0 defeat to Caen last week, recently stated that he did not know if he would be moving on this month but admitted that a switch to England was a dream of his.
He has also been tracked by United and Liverpool and it remains to be seen if Gus Poyet's appointment to replace coach Jocelyn Gourvenne at the Matmut Atlantique will have any impact upon his future.
"Yes it is a dream, it is a dream for all players and I am no different," he said. "As I said, I am here, I must think about working and nothing else. I must not think about leaving now."
Tottenham, also linked with Paris Saint-Germain's Lucas Moura and Atletico Madrid frontman Kevin Gameiro of late, have yet to seal any new signings during the opening three weeks of the January window, instead sanctioning respective loan exits for Georges-Kevin Nkoudou (Burnley) and Marcus Edwards (Norwich City).
Young centre-back Cameron Carter-Vickers was also recalled early from his season-long stint at Sheffield United before quickly returning to the Championship with Ipswich Town.