When are Everton transfers ever dull and drab affairs with all parties agreeing and the media outlets all reporting on it in a fair, balanced and timely manner?
Late yesterday Sky broke the news that the Blues were in for exciting young Brazilian winger Malcom, currently plying his trade at Bordeaux in France.
Reaction was almost exclusively ecstatic. It’s a position of need at Finch Farm, and a young, promising player, unlike purchases such as Yannick Bolasie or Theo Walcott.
Everton in advanced talks to sign Bordeaux winger Malcom.— Kaveh Solhekol (@SkyKaveh) July 17, 2018
Bordeaux chairman due to meet Everton on Thursday.
£30m deal plus add ons being discussed. 5-year deal worth £80,000 a week.
Then, the floodgates opened. Here’s what we know.
Independently, French daily L’Equipe also published a report stating the Toffees were well into negotiations with Bordeaux, and that primary conversations had already taken place today.
L’Equipe is one of the largest publications in France, and generally has their pulse on all things Ligue One.
Italian journalists then threw their hats into the ring, because Inter Milan are in a rebuilding project and the winger would have been a center-piece for them as well. Giunta and Romano are respected reporters, and just added fuel to the fire - it’s likely they heard from someone at the San Siro that Everton had pipped Inter for the player.
Ah, yes, the Echo, here right on schedule to be an enormous wet blanket, draped all over our dreams.
Kirkbride insists that the club are not interested in Malcom, while Dominic King of the Daily Mail also promotes caution. More on that later.
Everton have no interest in Bordeaux winger Malcomhttps://t.co/ywYxJHtx6m— Phil Kirkbride (@philkecho) July 18, 2018
Would treat with caution, at this moment in time, Everton’s link to Malcom. They are pursuing other targets at the minute (Mina, Digne) but not on the verge of sealing any deals. Process still on-going— Dominic King (@DominicKing_DM) July 18, 2018
Meanwhile, back on the continent, French website FootMercato (via Sport Witness) are claiming that the Blues are close to a deal for the 21-year-old but that it would be contingent on selling Ademola Lookman and Everton raising their offer to meet Bordeaux’s valuation.
If this strikes you as a little odd, that’s because it is. We already know that RB Leipzig are refusing to meet Everton’s valuation of Lookman, and Ade-out-Malcom-in presents the exact same problem the Blues have now - not enough wingers.
Walcott, Lookman, Malcom, and occasionally Calvert-Lewin would be sufficient for this season. If you assume that Kevin Mirallas and Yannick Bolasie have one foot out the door, rostering just Walcott and Malcom is a recipe for disaster.
Updates later this afternoon from Bordeaux claimed that the player was being ‘rested’ for a friendly they’re playing this evening.
According to the official team account (@girondins), Malcom has been held out of Bordeaux's friendly today to "rest".— Royal Blue Mersey (@RBMersey) July 18, 2018
As far as we can tell, he had a regular holiday this offseason, no injuries and no international duty.
Soon after that, another report came out, this time from Goal.com who added a juicy tidbit that Inter Milan had also put in a big money bid of €41m earlier this month, but were shot down because they had asked to pay in installments which is the norm in the cash-strapped Serie A. Additionally, the report also said that Everton were offering up to €5m in performance-related bonuses on top of the €31m, so the two clubs are not very far away in terms of valuation.
No começo do mês, a Inter de Milão ofereceu 41 milhões de euros por Malcom - valor superior ao oferecido pelo Everton. O problema é que os italianos queriam pagar em várias parcelas. Não rolou. Bordeaux quer receber o valor da transferência à vista— Bruno Andrade (@brunoandrd) July 18, 2018
Good question! The reality is that Everton likely are very interested in Malcom and have met with Bordeaux officials.
Local reporters like Kirkbride and King can often be used as a mouthpiece for the club they cover, and it makes sense for their Everton sources to feed them information downplaying the team’s interest. If the Blues “have no interest” and their “process (is) still on-going”, it adds leverage to negotiations, and relieves pressure on the front office.
Sky in England, Sky in Italy, L’Equipe, and Fabrizio Romano are all national outlets with a variety of sources on different sides of every issue. They’re also reputable, with little reason to all collude on the exact same report at once.
Everton may not acquire Malcom, but if that becomes the case, it probably won’t be for a lack of trying.