'The Barcelona fans love me' - Malcom claims supporters have asked him to return

The Brazilian forward has no regrets about his 12-month spell at Camp Nou and insists the supporters still hold him in high regard
The Brazilian forward has no regrets about his 12-month spell at Camp Nou and insists the supporters still hold him in high regard

Zenit Saint Petersburg forward Malcom has revealed he has received messages from Barcelona fans asking him to return to Camp Nou.

Barca beat off competition from Serie A outfit Roma to sign the 22-year-old in a €41 million (£36.5m/$48m) deal from Bordeaux in the summer of 2018.

However, the Brazilian struggled to hold down a regular place in the side during the 2018-19 campaign, with the squad already packed with attacking talent.

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The likes of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho meant Malcom’s first-team opportunities were limited. He made 24 appearances in all competitions for Ernesto Valverde’s side, with just 11 of those starts.

The summer signing of Antoine Griezmann pushed Malcom further down the pecking order at the Spanish club, prompting him to make a €40 million (£36.5m/$44.5m) move to Zenit in search of regular football.

However, he has also struggled for regular action at the Russian Premier League leaders, making just two substitute appearances.

That has sparked rumours he could soon be on the move again, with Malcom revealing Barca supporters have contacted him about a potential return to Catalunya.

"I can say that I receive messages about returning to Barcelona," Malcom told RMC Sport.

"Every time the coach gave me an opportunity to play, I did my job and I think I did it well.

"That's why the Barcelona fans love me.”

Malcom also insists he has no regrets about his sole season at Barcelona despite his lack of first-team action.

"No, I don't regret it," he added. "I'm young and I want to play anywhere, because I like football.

"Zenit are the team who gave me the opportunity to play football.”

Malcom began his career at Brazilian side Corinthians, scoring 10 goals in 70 appearances before joining Bordeaux in the summer of 2015.

He spent three seasons with the Ligue 1 side, scoring 23 goals in 96 appearances across all competitions, before his move to Camp Nou.

The forward has been capped at under-20 and under-23 level for Brazil and has earned one call-up to the senior team in September 2018, though he did not make it onto the pitch.

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