Roma's sporting director, Monchi, has made a name for himself by combing the market and finding deals for young players. He then turns them into superstars and turns them into multi-million euro sales. The former goalkeeper made it an art during his time at Sevilla and has been tasked with doing the same at the Italian club.
The latest player to catch his eye was former Bordeaux Girondins' wideman, Malcom, but he was beaten to the punch by Barcelona, who outbid the Serie A side and ended up announcing the Brazilian on Tuesday afternoon.
It's not the first time Barcelona have focused on one of Monchi's targets. During his spell with Sevilla, Barcelona regularly came knocking for the club's stars. Even Joaquin Caparros quipped that Sevilla had become something of a youth academy for Barcelona.
Monchi signed Dani Alves for a little over half a million euro before turning him into a €35.5 million player when Barcelona saw and wanted his qualities at the club five years later. The same happened with Seydou Keita, who signed for Barcelona for €10 million more than the €14 million Monchi initially forked out for the Lens player.
Two years later, in 2010, Adriano became the latest to leave Sevilla for Barcelona after Monchi signed him for €2.1 million from Coritibia. Barcelona would end up paying €9.5 million for the player.
It was Ivan Rakitic's turn after that, who arrived at Sevilla for €2.5 million from Schalke 04. Monchi turned a handsome profit on the Croatian as he moved for €18 million and quickly became one of the best midfielders in the world. Monchi also recruited Aleix Vidal from Almeria for €2.5 million and ended up selling him to Barcelona for €17 million.
This summer, a Sevilla player who Monchi signed in Clement Lenglet signed for Barcelona after the paid his €39.5 million release clause.
And now, with Malcom, Barcelona have decided to act before Monchi could sign the player.