Club president Stephane Martin insists that Bordeaux have not held talks with Arsenal over a January transfer for Malcom and has warned that the Gunners will "struggle" to prise the highly-rated Brazilian winger away from Ligue 1.

Arsenal are believed to have identified Malcom as a priority January target and have also held talks with Borussia Dortmund regarding wantaway striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as they seek to quickly replace contract rebel Alexis Sanchez, who now looks primed to join either Manchester United or Chelsea after Manchester City pulled out of the race on Monday evening (15 January).

The Independent claimed yesterday that the FA Cup holders were on the verge of beating Tottenham Hotspur to his signature having made it clear that they were content to pay approximately €45m (£40m, $55m) - €5m short of the asking price but crucially €10m more than their north London rivals.

Bordeaux have remained publicly adamant that Malcom is not for sale despite ongoing rumours over those negotiations, with Martin reiterating over the weekend that there was "nothing new" and owner Nicolas de Tavernost seemingly assuring supporters that the former Corinthians youngster would not be leaving.

Addressing the issue again during an interview with French publication L'Equipe, Martin described the lingering speculation as "hot air" and stated that they had not agreed a contract extension with Malcom through 2021 as recently as September only to then sell him at the next available opportunity.

"Things are clear with his agents," he said. "We did not sign him to an extension and tie him to something, to let him go this winter.

"We have never had a discussion with Arsenal. From our point of view, it is nothing but hot air. They can always try, but they will struggle to take him from us."

Malcom joined Bordeaux from Corinthians in 2016 and has since made 80 appearances for Les Girondins, becoming something of an indispensable figure.

This season, the 20-year-old has scored seven goals and provided six assists across all competitions for a struggling team that have won only two matches since September.

Under-pressure manager Jocelyn Gourvennec recently said he was taking the situation regarding the talented youngster "day by day", insisting he is not unsettled but merely taking the logical step of thinking about his future. He expressed hope that Bordeaux could retain the services of such an influential player but vowed to replace him in the event that he does depart for the Premier League.

Asked about Malcom in a press conference held before Arsenal's 2-1 loss at Bournemouth on Sunday, Arsene Wenger said: "He's a good player, but at the moment nothing is happening. We are not on that case at the moment."

Malcolm
Arsenal are said to view Malcom as an ideal replacement for Alexis Sanchez NICOLAS TUCAT/AFP/Getty Images