I think us being linked with him always seemed more opportunistic for it being January and us desperate rather than him being a top target. Turning down a move to Barcelona at any level at any age is a brave move. In hindsight easy to criticise him but a move to Barcelona comes round at best once in a lifetime and at least he tried for it.
You could easily say the same about De Jong if he flops.
Most players would of done exactly what Malcom did in regards to Barca. He might of been a good squad option if the manager wasn't such a shit show.
Let's face it Barca is the pinnacle, and if you've been near the best everywhere you've been you have to believe you can make it anywhere.