MADRID (Reuters) - Barcelona have swooped to sign Brazilian forward Malcom on a five-year deal from Girondins Bordeaux for an initial 41 million euros (36.46 million pounds)in a surprise move after AS Roma had struck a deal with the French club.
The 21-year-old was set to join the Italians this week but media reports in Spain and Italy said Spanish champions Barca’s 11th hour offer had changed Malcom’s mind and he has become their third signing of the transfer window.
“This is a unique feeling, a unique feeling,” he said at Barca’s Nou Camp offices on Tuesday. “I’m delighted. It’s a dream I’ve had since childhood. I’m part of the best club in the world and I hope to give the fans a lot of joy.”
In an interview on Roma’s website, Sporting Director Monchi explained that after the Serie A club had reached an initial agreement with Bordeaux on Monday Barcelona entered the bidding, leading Roma to submit an improved offer for the player.
Bordeaux then met with Malcom’s representatives on Tuesday to discuss the transfer which is when Roma pulled out, with the club looking to see if they have a case for legal action.
“After that meeting, I was surprised to be told that the agents and Bordeaux wanted another improved offer, as Barcelona were still pushing for a deal,” Monchi said.
“I told them enough, because we did not want to enter an auction: we could not continue like that, and yesterday we had only raised our offer because of the willingness and desire of our president. So that was how everything ended.
“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.”
Media reports said Malcom’s change of destination came after Barca’s move for fellow Brazilian forward Willian broke down when they were unable to agree a transfer fee with Chelsea, leading them to turn to Bordeaux’s fleet-footed wide forward.
“The Brazilian will undergo a medical on Wednesday morning and then directly join the FC Barcelona US Tour,” read a statement from the Spanish champions, whose deal for the player includes an extra one million euros in variables.
Malcom joined Bordeaux from Brazilian side Corinthians in January 2016 and scored 23 goals in 96 games for the club. He is Barca’s second Brazilian signing of the transfer window after midfielder Arthur, 21, joined from Gremio.
Barcelona also signed 23-year-old French defender Clement Lenglet from Sevilla earlier this month.
($1 = 0.8562 euros)
Editing by Ken Ferris