Malcom in the Meddle: Fans React as New Barça Star Scores Against Roma Days After Transfer Hijacking

?One of the summer’s strangest transfer stories took place last week when Brazilian winger Malcom’s transfer to Roma was hijacked at the eleventh hour by ?Barcelona.

A deal had been agreed between Malcom’s former club Bordeaux and Roma for the player’s signature, with the Italian side even announcing the deal on social media before Barcelona swooped in at the last minute to shepherd the would be Roman over to Catalonia.

FC Barcelona v Tottenham Hotspur - International Champions Cup 2018

Roma sporting director Monchi suggested legal action could be taken in the aftermath of the fiasco, while club president James Pallotta claimed only sending Lionel Messi their way would make things right between the two clubs.

And as if things couldn’t get much more awkward, Malcom has added insult to injury by scoring against the club he ditched for Barcelona in a pre-season friendly – though Roma did eventually go on to win the match 4-2.

Roma’s notoriously witty social media team at least took the unusual situation in good humour (probably), tweeting Barcelona’s starting lineup prior to the match with one name redacted. 

??Another tweet by Roma’s English account showed the club’s muted words on the site, which included phrases such as ‘Announce Malcom’ and ‘Where is Malcom’ in response to the repeated jokes and questions regarding the player and his collapsed move to the club.

Roma’s somewhat passive-aggressive handling of the situation drew a reaction on social media, with a host of fans seeing the funny side and many Barcelona fans offering their own retorts to Roma’s jibes at the expense of their new player.

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??Things would get even more uncomfortable when Malcom netted in the second half. Something Roma’s Twitter were not prepared to let go…

Though the tweet caused quite a stir on social media, Malcom himself did not show any sign of being offended.

“It’s a joke, nothing happens. I’m not angry,” the winger told ?Mundo Deportivo after the game.

Malcom joined Barcelona for €41m after spending three years at Bordeaux, where he scored an impressive 23 goals in 96 appearances for the French side.

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Rafinha Wants to See Brother Thiago Alcantara Back at Barcelona After Coy Comments on Own Future

?Barcelona midfielder Rafinha has revealed that he would like to see older brother Thiago Alcantara back at the Camp Nou, five years on from his transfer to ?Bundesliga side ?Bayern Munich.

Interviewed in Dallas before the pre-season friendly match against Champions League conquerors Roma, the Brazilian spoke of his sibling’s quality. 

?SPORT report the current Barcelona number 12 as commenting: “I would like to see him again at Barça, because I think he fits perfectly in this team,”

Bayern Muenchen v Eintracht Frankfurt - DFB Cup Final

The Italian-born Spanish international has appeared 31 times for his adopted nation, and may seek a transfer home. His game time in Germany has become a lot more fragmented due to James Rodriguez’s loan deal and Corentin Tolisso’s meteoric rise. 

Sons of 1994 Brazilian ?World Cup winner Mazinho, the pair will both be looking for considerably more first team action than has been the case in the last few campaigns. 

More self-effacing with his own future, Rafinha spent last season on loan at ?Internazionale. Enjoying a fruitful spell in Italy, he helped I Nerazzuri qualify for the Champions League in a final day showdown win away to Lazio. 

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With an option to buy at €35m, rumours of a return to ?Serie A are doing the rounds. Rafinha is focused on Barcelona however, but does admit he needs to play more often or think about his career path.

“Right now I’m away from all this. My head is only in the pre-season games. What I want is to be physically well and leave this issue in the hands of my representative,” he said.

“It is clear that anyone wants to play in the place where he has more minutes, either here or outside , in another team that is not the Barca.”

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??Whether Rafinha and Thiago are to team up in Catalonia for next season’s ?La Liga or not, there’s definitely mileage left before the each window shuts across the continent. 

If it’s to be Inter, Bayern or Barça, it would take some rather large transfer fees to either reunite, or completely break up these brothers. 

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Aaron Ramsey Linked With Swap Deal That Would See Barca’s Ousmane Dembele Join Arsenal

??Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey has been linked with a move to ?Barcelona in a swap deal that would see Ousmane Dembele join Unai Emery’s side. 

As reported by ?The Sun, the 27-year-old is into the final year of his contract at the Emirates Stadium, which could see the club cash in on the Welsh international in order to bring Dembele to London. 

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The article also claims that Barcelona would only be willing to let the 21-year-old World Cup

winner leave the Nou Camp if Ramsey is included in a deal, which could now happen after the Catalan club recently signed Brazilian winger Malcom. 

Despite Dembele being deemed by many as a huge talent for the future, the Frenchman struggled for both form and fitness in his first season in Barcelona following his £135m move from ?Borussia Dortmund in 2017. He scored three goals and provided seven assists in 17 ?La Liga games as La Blaugrana secured a league and cup double. 

Ramsey meanwhile featured 32 times for Arsenal in 2017/18, scoring 11 goals and providing 12 assists in all competitions in what was a largely disappointing season for the Gunners, which saw them finish outside the Champions League places for the second straight campaign. 

Club Atletico de Madrid v Arsenal - International Champions Cup 2018

The two sides have been busy throughout the summer so far as they prepare for the season ahead, ?although Barcelona look to have pipped the Premier League outfit to long-term target Steven N’Zonzi after Arsenal refused to pay the price set by Sevilla for the holding midfielder. 

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Barcelona Looking to Raise Enormous €300m by Selling Camp Nou Naming Rights

?Barcelona could use their pre-season summer tours this year and next year as a marketing tool to sell the naming rights to Camp Nou in a bumper €300m deal.

Barça hope to have completed a major redevelopment of their iconic home by 2022 and a sponsored stadium could form a huge part of that after the idea of selling off naming rights was initially approved in a 2015 referendum.

Camp Nou

According to Marca, the price of any such deal will be raised to €300m after initially being set at €200m following the vote.

It is said that promoting the ‘brand’ in a bid to secure increased revenues is just as important a part of this summer’s pre-season tour to the United States as the players training and building up their fitness. It will be the same next year when the squad visits either China or Japan.

Marca points to American and Asian companies being potential Camp Nou sponsors, with any potential agreement set to be reviewed for approval early next year ahead of a final at the club’s Annual General Meeting.

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Barça have so far played one game on this year’s tour, drawing 1-1 with Tottenham and then winning on penalties in Pasadena, California. Further games will be played against Roma in Arlington, Texas and against AC Milan in Santa Clara, California, before returning to Europe.

Ernesto Valverde’s team will face Sevilla in the Supercopa de España in Morocco on August 12, with the annual Joan Gamper Trophy game to take place at Camp Nou three days later. This year’s guests for the historic fixture are Argentine giants Boca Juniors.

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Willian Addresses Rumours Regarding His Future as Transfer Deadline Edges Closer

Willian has confirmed to the Brazilian press that he will stay at ?Chelsea next season amidst exit rumours.
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?The Brazilian has been targeted for much of the summer by ?Barcelona, however whilst speaking with Brazilian news outlet ?Esporte Espetacular Willian quashed all rumours surrounding his future and insisted he’s still very happy at Stamford Bridge. 

Burnley v Chelsea - Premier League

Whilst answering questions regarding his international future, the forwards stated he won’t be retiring from the Brazilian national team and that he’ll get back to work at ‘his club’. When asked by the reporter what he meant by ‘his club’, he replied: “I’m back to England. I’m very happy at Chelsea. I’m very happy living in London.”
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?It’s the news Chelsea fans would’ve been desperate to hear as they gear up for a season where they will be looking to bounce back after their disappointing fifth place finish last season.

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?Willian has spent five seasons with the Blues and in that time has won two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and a League Cup on top of the prestigious Chelsea Player of the Season award for the 2015/16 season.
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?It certainly doesn’t seem as if he is bored of life at Chelsea just yet with their ?new manager Maurizio Sarri preparing for his debut campaign in the Premier League.

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Meanwhile the Blues will be preparing for another year without Champions League football – the second time in the last three seasons they haven’t qualified for Europe’s elite competition. Sarri will likely be delighted with Willian’s latest comments with the winger set to play a key role in Chelsea’s push for a Premier League title.

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