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Monchi: ‘We’ll Sign Player As Good or Better Than Malcom’

Monchi explains the Roma-Bordeaux-Malcom-Barcelona fiasco to Roma TV.

Benevento Calcio v AS Roma - Serie A Photo by Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images

Normally I’d just draw a line under this because it’s pretty clear what happened: Malcom’s first choice was not Roma. It doesn’t matter to me if a player’s name is Olsen, Malcom, Alisson or whatever nuances there were in the negotiations. The bottom line is I didn’t see a gun nestled behind any player’s back when they got off the plane to their respective clubs and signed.

Keep in mind Bordeaux came under a lot of abuse from their fans for the initial deal, as the club has declared they wouldn’t sell Malcom for any less than 40 million euros earlier in the summer. But that doesn’t mean anything to Roma.

All in all, I read conflicting details in English versions on the web, so here is the full version via ForzaRoma of Monchi’s explanation to Roma TV below.

Update: The club have released a subtitled video

“What happened is easy to explain but hard to understand. Malcom had the profile we were looking for, we opened up negotiations with club and player a week ago and, after a few days work, reached an agreement yesterday at five in the afternoon with both Malcom’s agent and club. The negotiations were closed and we were given permission for Malcom’s arrival and medical in Rome. He had a flight booked at 9 PM and everything was done.”

Why the tweet?

“After reaching the agreement, Bordeaux’s president called me telling me it was best to do a press release. That wasn’t good for us because we’re listed on the stock exchange. They went ahead and did it anyway and we were forced to respond. After that the rumours of Barcelona’s interest started spreading. I knew many teams were interested in Malcom and that’s why we looked to find an agreement as soon as possible.

My surprise came when one of his agents called me to say Bordeaux forbid Malcom’s departure. I immediately called their president Martin, who told me an offer from Barcelona arrived that was higher than ours and if we didn’t match it we’d never get the player. I explained to him that we had an agreement and he replied that nothing had been signed.

I told Pallotta the news, and he told me to raise the offer even against my own opinion. I called Bordeaux and told them we were ready to raise our offer. Their president told me that they needed the papers signed with the new offer Pallotta wanted to make. Malcom’s agent and their president told me that if everything was in place, we’d close the deal today. His agent Garcia told me that he had an appointment with Bordeaux at 11 this morning and Malcom would be arriving this evening. After midday they told me we had to make another offer because Barcelona were pushing hard. So I said enough, because I didn’t want to get into a bidding war. Yesterday we raised our offer on the wishes of our president Pallotta but we couldn’t go beyond that and pulled out.

Now we’re looking at whether we have a legal case. We didn’t sign any papers, it’s true, but we have a ton of messages with his agent and their president that are worth looking over.”

A message to the fans?

“I’m sorry for what happened but I think the club went a lot further than what we initially agreed with Bordeaux. I insist on pointing out it was Pallotta’s wish to raise the offer to the maximum possible but once the auction began we pulled out. Whoever wants to come to Roma is good with us, whoever doesn’t want to come is fine with us all the same. We’ll find a player as good or even better than Malcom.”

What does Olsen bring to Roma?

“Olsen is a keeper with important experience at international level. He played a great World Cup, and he’s played a lot of Champions League games with Copenhagen. He’s a level-headed keeper with enough character to understand that we have to replace Alisson. That’s why we signed him.”

The goalkeepers are completely changed...

“Yes we’ve changed everything. Alisson, Lobont and Skorupski left and in their place we have Mirante, Fuzato and Olsen. They’re working with our trainer Savorani, in who we have a lot of faith. Beyond the work he does, our choosing them was in line with the sporting direction of the club.”

What do you expect to see from the US tour?

“That the work we’re doing every day in training will show itself in these matches, that the team is bit by bit understanding what the coach wants of them. The new players have to adapt as fast as possible.”