Brazilian winger Malcom was all set to sign for Italian side AS Roma, but Catalan giants Barcelona swooped in at the 11th hour to nab the player for a €41 million fee on Tuesday.
“FC Barcelona and Girondins de Bordeaux have reached an agreement for the transfer of the player Malcom Filipe Silva de Oliveira. The operation will cost €41 million and €1 million in variables,” a statement on the club website read.
A remarkable saga for a player coveted by almost every club with a reasonable budget finally came ended in the Catalan capital, with the Giallorossi understandably flummoxed.
Roma had even issued a statement on their website confirming that they had reached an agreement with Bordeaux for the transfer of the 21-year-old Brazilian, only for La Blaugrana to come in at the last possible minute.
Malcom has been linked with Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Inter Milan, to name a few and is considered one of Brazil’s hottest talents.
After coming through the youth setup at Corinthians, the 5’7 winger spent two seasons in the Brasiliero Serie A before Bordeaux came calling while he was still 18.
The 21-year-old really came into his own in his second season with the French outfit, scoring a total of nine goals in all competitions to put the rest of Europe on alert.
Malcom bettered his goal tally last season, with 12 in the league alone, and Arsenal were initially favourites to sign him, but as is the case with transfers these days, you can’t say anything till it’s official.
With Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele already at Ernesto Valverde’s disposal, Malcom is not guaranteed a starting spot by any means and it remains to be seen how much playing time he will be able to get in his debut season with the Catalan giants.