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Everton facing stiff competition in chase for star

Roma are going to pose a threat to the Blues in Malcom pursuit

Brazil v Portugal: Quarter Final - FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015
Malcom with the Brazil U20 side
Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images

It was never going to be that easy was it?

Just a couple of days ago when the news of the interest in Malcom broke, it looked like Everton were well-placed to capture a youngster that was on the verge of breaking through onto the global stage.

However, one key action happened yesterday, triggered ironically by Merseyside rivals Liverpool, to change the whole picture and now the transfer seems as distant as ever. The Reds put in a world record bid for Alisson Becker from AS Roma, and now the Roman club, flush with cash, are going shopping and trying to barge into the Everton deal.

Their Director of Football Monchi, who was also considered for a similar role at Everton in the recent past, spoke to the media today and sounded confident about stealing a march on the Blues pursuit of the young winger.

“I think think a sporting director can be too close to a fan’s way of thinking. Sometimes I become too much of a fan, but I have to make decisions in the best interests of the club.

“Today some of them will be angry, some of them won’t, but they’re all happy when Roma win. That’s my job, to put together the strongest possible team to win and make the fans happy.

“I know they’re all tired of words and want to win, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. I’ve been here for 14 months, so give me a little time. We’re here to present Justin Kluivert, which seemed impossible a few months ago.

“Javier Pastore is here, according to you that was impossible and yet he’s here. Malcom seemed crazy and today you tell me that’s a possibility. It’s fair to say that too, not just talk about Radja Nainggolan and Alisson but also about the signings.

“This is my mobile phone, I have many compliments, not only for the sale, but for the team we’re putting together. Radja left and he was very strong, Alisson is too. Very strong players stayed, others arrived and more will come.

“There’s about a month left until the end of the transfer window, there are many reasons to hope.”

The mention of Kluivert there will be another dagger to Blue hearts, who had thought they might be able to grab the youngster after his agent Mino Raiola was linked with bringing some players over for Farhad Moshiri but that didn’t happen.

Speaking to TeleRadio Stereo (via Football Italia), the player’s representative Fernando Garcia confirmed he would be speaking to Monchi today -

“In the next few hours I’ll have contact with [sporting director] Monchi. The player would like to come to Italy.

“How much does he cost? I just take care of the lad’s contract.”

Meanwhile Sky Italia think the Blues are still ahead of the Italian side as far as negotiations with club and player go, though from the agent’s words it sounds like he’s trying to start a bidding war.

Everton and Roma’s odds of grabbing the player flipflopped in a day, with the Italian club’s slashed heavily early this morning, while the Blues now appear a long shot.

Nothing is confirmed as yet so stay tuned.