AS Roma president James Pallotta has cheekily suggested that if Barcelona sell them Lionel Messi then he will accept their apology following the Malcom transfer affair.
The Giallorossi seemed to have got their man after reaching an agreement with the Brazilian youngster’s former club Bordeaux, but in the eleventh hour Barca swooped in.
Naturally this did not sit well in Rome, with their frustration pointed towards the French club, and the Spanish champions ultimately apologised, but Pallotta will only accept it on one condition.
“Barcelona intervened in an unethical way,” he told SiriusXM (via La Gazzetta dello Sport).
“In the morning, Monchi was in a conference call with his agent and an agreement was made.
“We’ve received legal advice, and it seems Bordeaux will be called to testify. Yesterday Barcelona apologised to us, but I didn’t accept their apologies.
“The only way to accept them is if they decide to give us Messi.”
The rise of Malcom
Across the 2016/17 season, his first full campaign in European football, Malcom featured in 37 league outings and registered seven goals (one every 392 minutes).
This was a respectable total for a side that finished sixth, and one which he matched in just his first 16 games of the season just gone.
Last season, he created 87 chances for his teammates, more than any player under the age of 23 in Europe’s top five leagues, with seven of those ending up in the back of the net.
In fact, only two players – who have played at least 10 times for their team – have made more key passes than Malcom in Ligue 1, with the Brazilian finishing behind Benjamin Bourigeaud (96) and Dimitri Payet (121).
Coincidentally Roma will get the opportunity to see Malcom in action during their next fixture, which is against Barcelona on August 1 in the International Champions Cup at the AT&T Stadium.