Roma considering legal action against Barcelona over Malcom deal

Malcom Barcelona

Roma are considering whether to take legal action after missing out on the signing of Bordeaux’s Brazilian winger Malcom to Barcelona.

The Catalan club announced on Tuesday night they had agreed the 42million euros (£37.3million) signing of the 21-year-old, just a day after Roma said they had a deal of their own.

Malcom, who was also linked with Everton and Inter Milan, has agreed a five-year contract at the Nou Camp and will undergo a medical on Wednesday. The signing could have implications on Barca’s reported pursuit of Chelsea’s Willian.

“We are looking at our options and seeing if we have a legal case,” Roma sporting director Monchi said on the club website.

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

Monchi said Roma only, and reluctantly, went public with the deal on Monday after he received a phone call from Bordeaux president Stephane Martin telling him the French side were going to make an official announcement because of rumours surrounding the transfer.

Monchi claimed Bordeaux then reneged on their 40million euros (£35.5million) deal with Roma, the result of “three of four days of intensive negotiations”, after receiving the higher offer from Barcelona.

He said: “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“So I was very surprised when one of the representatives of the player called me to tell me that Bordeaux had withdrawn permission for the player to travel to Rome. I called 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 sent some documents to be signed, nothing could be done.

“I informed our president (James Pallotta), telling him of the change – and he gave me the green light to push forward and make a new offer that was better than Barcelona’s. That was against my opinion, but he insisted he was willing and said, ‘Go for it’.

“I informed the Bordeaux president and his agents that Roma were ready to beat Barcelona’s offer. Their president told me that we needed to send it in officially. At 11pm we submitted a formal document with the offer president Pallotta was willing to make.”

Monchi said that Malcom had been expected to travel to Rome on Tuesday evening, but that, after a midday meeting between the Brazilian’s representatives and Bordeaux, he was told “that the agents and Bordeaux wanted another offer as Barcelona were still pushing for a deal”.

The sporting director added: “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.

“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.”

Malcom, who has yet to represent his country at senior level, began his career in his homeland with Corinthians and was part of the Campeonato title-winning side of 2015 before moving to France in January 2016.

He spent three seasons with Bordeaux, scoring 23 goals in 96 appearances.

There was some good news for Roma on Tuesday, however, as they completed the signing of Sweden goalkeeper Robin Olsen from FC Copenhagen for an initial fee of 8.5million euros (£7.5million), rising to 12million euros (£10.7million). The 28-year-old, Sweden’s first choice at the World Cup, has signed a five-year contract.