Roma president James Palotta has criticised the 'unethical' actions of Barcelona in hijacking the club's attempted signing of Brazilian forward Malcom. He also admitted that the Catalan outfit have apologised for the move, but it is not accepted - unless they are prepared to offer Lionel Messi as part of a peace deal.

Roma were certain they would sign Malcom from Bordeaux - so much so that fans had started gathering at the airport in anticipation of the Brazilian's arrival once a fee had been agreed between the two clubs.


However, the Spanish champions came in with a late bid, and gazumped the Italian club - with Malcom then choosing Barca over Roma. The next day, the 21-yera-old was unveiled by the club.

It's left a sour taste in Palotta's mouth, but he still found the time to joke about signing Messi instead.

"Barcelona apologised to us, but I didn't accept their apologies," he said in a radio interview, via Marca. "The only way to accept them is if they decide to give us Messi.

"Barcelona intervened in an unethical way.

"Monchi was in a conference call with [Malcom's] agent and an agreement was made.

"We've now received legal advice and it seems Bordeaux will be called to testify."

Funnily enough, it doesn't seem too likely that Barcelona will send a hamper to Rome with an apologetic looking Lionel Messi sat inside waiting to put pen to paper on a four year contract.


Roma have every right to be miffed. Having sold Alisson Becker for a world record fee for a goalkeeper, the club are looking to reinvest - but they can't do that if they're being hijacked at every move.