With Barcelona “hijacking” the transfer of Brazilian winger Malcom from Roma, the Italian club’s President James Pallotta expressed his anger on the “unethical” business by the Spanish club. Speaking in an interview with SiriusXM FC, Pallota said that Barcelona should consider sending Lionel Messi to Roma as a compensation. “They knew that this was done. In point of fact yesterday they apologised to us about their actions and how they did things and I don’t accept the apology, I mean, at all,” he said.
“The apology, the only way I’ll accept it is either one of two things. I mean at the end of the day, send [Malcom] to us, and you know that’s not going to happen. But maybe, as a goodwill gesture, at the very least they should send Messi to us,” Palotta added.
Roma had agreed to the transfer of Malcom from his former club Bordeaux and were expecting his arrival to the club for a medical, earlier this week. But his flight to the Eternal City was canceled after Barca made the French club an improved offer. By the time Roma matched Barca’s bid, Malcom had already signed for the La Liga Champions, which prompted Roma’s sporting director Monchi to threaten legal action.
“The deal was done. We’re up at night and the kid doesn’t get on the plane. Bordeaux stops it and we find out all of a sudden Barcelona jumps into the mix, and in no question in my mind unethically and immorally,” Pallotta said.
The Amercian businessman further slammed critics who questioned the deal with Roma was not formally done. “I have no problem if we’re battling it out for a player with Inter or Bayern or whoever it is, and we’re all going through the process of trying to get to the player, fine. That’s the way it works. But at the end of the day when a deal is done and completely agreed upon? And some people say, ‘Oh it wasn’t formally signed.’ That’s bulls—. We all know how it works — the kid comes in for the medical and then the signing is done,” he said.
He further went on to describe the actions by Bordeaux and Barcelona as “unethical and immoral”. “That handshake and the agreement is done. Other teams know not to come in and do what Barcelona did. Bordeaux should’ve never been doing what they did, that was completely — I think it’s illegal not to mention unethical and immoral,” he said.
He further went on to question what reputation the La Liga giants want to put forth in front of the footballing fans. “In terms of Barcelona, it was just, you know, a pattern of the past few years of doing things that just should not be done at a club with what the reputation that I think Barcelona intends to have and to be,” he said.
Talking about legal actions against Bordeaux, Pallotta said, “If you just look at all the stuff that happened, you know, the deal was done. And my view is Bordeaux, their actions, and we’ve already spoken to legal and you know I’m fairly certain that they’re going to be testifying on this and that there will be some litigation,” he said.
Roma and Barcelona will square off against each other in a pre-season game at the International Champions Cup in Arlington, Texas on August 1.