(CNN) — Leading Italian club AS Roma says it’s considering legal options after being gazumped in trying to sign Brazilian forward Malcom, who has joined Barcelona from Bordeaux in a reported $49 million transfer.
According to Roma sporting director Monchi, the Serie A club had been negotiating with Bordeaux for a week and had reached an agreement for the 21-year-old’s transfer to the Italian team.
“I am very sorry for what has happened, but I believe that we had a complete agreement with Bordeaux — and then offered even more than that to get it done again,” Monchi told the Roma website.
“President [James] Pallotta made the decision to make the best offer possible, but when the negotiation became an auction we decided to withdraw from it.
“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.
“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 many messages with the agents and their president that are at least worth being assessed.”
Neither Barcelona or Bordeaux has publicly spoken about the negotiations surrounding Malcom’s transfer and neither club immediately responded to CNN Sport’s request for comment.
Malcom scored 12 goals and registered eight assists in 38 appearances for Bordeaux in Ligue 1 last season — the French club thanking him for his “hard work and commitment” and wishing him “all the best for this new adventure.”
“I hope to bring a lot of joy to the fans,” Malcolm said in quotes carried by the Barcelona club website. “I can’t wait to get started. I’m here to help my teammates with my style.”
It’s been a testing transfer window for Roma and Monchi. Earlier this month Roma sold Brazil international Alisson to Liverpool in an $84 million transfer — a world record deal for a goalkeeper.
“The job of a sporting director is not just to make signings but also to understand what’s best for the club at any given time,” said Monchi as he reflected on Alisson’s transfer.
“Economic factors are important for the club too, not just sporting factors.
“We weighed up the pros and cons and decided to speak to Liverpool in order to come to an agreement. Does it show a lack of ambition? Not for me.
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