Barça will officially confirm the sale of Malcom to Zenit in the next few hours for a fee that could rise up to €45m. This would see the club make a small profit on the winger who only joined a year ago. It's a great sale but one which covers the mistake it was to sign him in the first place. It became clear from the start that Ernesto Valverde didn't want the deal and he was a victim of that classic miscommunication between the sporting department and the coach.
The Brazilian barely played under Valverde, racking up just 600 minutes in LaLiga and six further matches between the Copa del Rey and Champions League. Malcom belongs to an era, which we hope is over, where the club signs players for the bench. They are cheaper alternatives who won't challenge the established first-choice players. Malcom never threatened to claim a starting spot and even struggled to make the bench on many occasions.
That's why it was a major error for Barça to spend €40m on a player who didn't add competition to the team and took a place, once again, from a talented La Masia player such as Abel Ruiz or Carles Pérez. The good news is that Barça were at least capable of amending that error and securing a successful sale. Until recently, the club was handicapped by the mistakes they had made in the transfer market. Now that situation feels much better and a profit, of any kind, is welcome. The lesson for Barça is clear after the Malcom saga: if in doubt, don't dip into the transfer market and instead look to La Masia.