Roma mull legal action after Barcelona hijack Malcom deal

Roma mull legal action after Barcelona hijack Malcom deal
Roma are considering taking legal action after a deal for Brazilian forward Malcom fell through at the last minute when the player joined Barcelona despite appearing set for the Italian capital.

Malcom, 21, agreed a five-year contract with Barca on Tuesday, joining the Spanish giants from French club Bordeaux for a reported fee of around $48 million.

That capped a stunning turnaround after Bordeaux and Roma had both confirmed on Monday that the player would be headed to Italy, subject to completing a medical and agreeing personal terms.

Roma sporting director Monchi has now said that the Italian club are looking at a potential legal case against the player and the French club after they thought they had reached an agreement.  

“Within the club, we are looking at our options and seeing if we have a legal case,” Monchi told Roma TV.  

“It is true that nothing was signed, but there are many messages with the agents and their [Bordeaux] president that are at least worth being assessed.”

Monchi had earlier explained how the club thought they had got their man after “three of four days of intensive negotiations” with Bordeaux, only to see the Brazilian slip through their hands after being gazumped by Barca.    

“It is true that, a few days ago, I was aware that a lot of squads were keen on Malcom – Barcelona among them.

“Because of this we got the deal agreed as quickly as we could: it was done. So I was very surprised when one of the representatives of the player called me to tell me that Bordeaux had withdrawn permission for the player to travel to Rome,” Monchi said.

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“I called [Bordeaux president Stephane] Martin, and he told me that an offer had come in from Barcelona that was better than ours and that if we did not raise our offer we could not have the player.

“I told him that we had an agreement, we had made the deal, but he said that nothing had been signed and that, despite having exchanged some documents to be signed, nothing could be done.”

Roma did, according to Monchi, then submit an improved offer, although Barca again came in a with a counter-bid, leading the Italians to reject the idea of a bidding war.

“I told them enough, because we did not want to enter an auction: we could not continue like that, and yesterday we had only raised our offer because of the willingness and desire of our president. So that was how everything ended.”

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He went on to apologize to Roma fans – some of whom had turned out at the airport on Monday expecting to welcome the team’s new arrival.

“If someone wants to come to Roma that is great, but ultimately if they do not want to come to Rome then we do not want them,” the official concluded.

Malcom passed a medical at Barcelona on Wednesday and will head to join up with his new teammates on their pre-season tour in the US.  

Barca had welcomed their new star on Tuesday by tweeting pictures of the Brazilian kissing the club badge and using the hashtag #EnjoyMalcom.

The youngster spent two years at Bordeaux, during which he scored 23 times in 96 games. He has appeared at youth level for Brazil, but is yet to make a senior appearance for the national team.