Roma sporting director Monchi appeared on Roma TV this afternoon to discuss the drama that unfolded yesterday with Malcom, which led to the player signing for Barcelona and not Roma, these are his words:
“What happened with Malcom is easy to explain but difficult to understand. He’s a player we liked a lot fit the profile we were looking for. We started a negotiation with Bordeaux and his agent. After a few days of work, we found an agreement yesterday at 5 PM. The agreement was found with both Bordeaux and his agent. The French side had given the player permission to leave and he was to arrive at 11 PM in order to carry out his medicals. We were calm and convinced that it was all closed.”
But Roma had an agreement with Bordeaux?
Once we found the agreement with Bordeaux, about 30 minutes later their president, Stephane Martin, called me to tell me that there were a lot of rumours surrounding the deal, and for them it would be better to make an official statement. I told him that, for us, it would not be ideal as we are quoted on the stock exchange and have to respect certain rules – but he insisted, and they ultimately did a tweet to announce the agreement. Because of this, we also followed up with the same statement. Everything was done, but about an hour after the announcement, there started to be suggestions of a new interest from Barcelona. It is true that, a few days ago, I was aware that a lot of squads were interested 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 So I was very surprised when one of the representatives of the player called me to tell me that Bordeaux had withdrawn permission for the player to travel to Rome.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 exchanged some documents to be signed, nothing could be done. I informed our president, 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. The agents and the Bordeaux president told me that if all was agreed, today we would be able to exchange the documents and the player would again be authorised to arrive in the evening. Early this morning, I spoke with Malcom’s agent, Fernando Garcia, who had a meeting with Bordeaux planned at 12pm to confirm everything was in place for the player to travel to Rome in the evening. After that meeting, I was surprised to be told that the agents and Bordeaux wanted another improved offer, as Barcelona were still pushing for a deal. I told them enough is enough, because we did not want to get into a bidding war: 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. Now, within the club, we are looking at our options and seeing if we have a legal case. It is true that nothing was signed, but there are several communications with the agents and their president that are at least worth being assessed.
A message to the fans?
I’m sorry for what happened, but the club has done everything possible. I insist on saying that Pallotta wanted to increase the offer but we pulled out when an auction started. 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. We will find a strong player equal or stronger than Malcom.