From the mouths of tiny assassins …. finally, it ends. Now what?


“I think, therefore I am …. not.”

Finally, the desired outcome has transpired in the Cesc Fabregas case. We have all been waiting for someone, somewhere to say something, anything that would give us an indication of what the hell is going on. And our very own Tiny Vampire, Andres Iniesta, comes to the rescue. He has had a conversation with the Catalan midfielder, and knows what the deal is. He spilled the beans to News of the World.

“Cesc wants to be with us, but he told me how close the Arsenal fans are to his heart.”

Here are some more quotes, which mean that for a few months at least we can go on with life, and not being called names by Arsenal fans.

“He is a special player and I hope he wins the title at Arsenal this season. For them to win Cesc will have to stay fit and injury-free but he deserves to finish with a title.

“For all the work he has put in at Arsenal it would be a shame if it was all fruitless. I have seen time after time Lionel Messi win games for Barcelona when the rest of the team have not been on form and Cesc can do that for Arsenal this season.

“Cesc is such a special player that he could carry a team to the title on his own and I hope he does it this coming season. It would be brilliant if Arsenal’s hero could lift the title as captain during his last season. I think that it would be fantastic for everybody.”

Awwww, I’m about to get all weepy. Now, question for the class. You have 40m, and you know what this team needs. How would you spend it?

Dumb-assed transfer rumor of the week

Time for a new feature, kids. Silly Season is bizarre, because some awesome stuff pops up, players going hither and yon, for bags of chicken bones or used footy boots. But my favorite in a while comes from our very own El Mundo Deportivo, who says that we will swap with AC Milan, Zlatan Ibrahimovic for Brazilian defender Thiago Silva. Wow.

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Written by:

In my fantasy life, I’m a Barca-crazed contributor over at Barcelona Football Blog. In my real life, I’m a full-time journalist at the Chicago Tribune, based in Chicago, Illinois.

71 Comments

  1. fcbfan
    July 25, 2010

    ah but the Ibra Kaka swap beats that one 😀

  2. GREECE BARCA
    July 25, 2010

    40million for next year.we don.t need other transfers.

    • JMo
      July 25, 2010

      Yeah we do. We need at least one more in the DM position. Busquets is building a bad rep for himself. He’s a highly skilled player who could be a revelation if he continues to embrace his characteristics, but with the bad reputation, people are going to be gunning for him.

      He’s a fragile player in general as a smaller guy in terms of strength, and we’re going to need another DM to cover. I don’t want to see KEITTEEEEEE in the DM position since he contributes so much more when he has the freedom to run from box to box, so I think at least one transfer, the DM postion, is vital.

      • stowe
        July 25, 2010

        I know you guys are about signing young guys, but i think an older experienced back-up would be great for busquets and wouldn’t be threatening for the youngins. just a thought. henry served a great few years and helped bojan and pedro mature. we could do the same in the DM position. get a wise vet who wants a trophy

  3. fcbfan
    July 25, 2010

    Kxevin, responding to your comment about Cesc not being a galactico signing from previous post:

    If we are to buy him, we need to pay at least 40m, the same price as Villa, and rumours say we will pay him 7m a year. That’s galactico to me. Worse, he will only start when Xaviesta are not available. It’s only at Barca and the nt he is not an automatic starter.

    Glad to read Iniesta’s comments but am not holding my breath. Wait till Xavi opens his mouth lol! Pep should smack the lot of them for talking too much.

    We could use the 40m for the Busi back up (a must) and a cb. Someone like Marquez… oops

    Is there another Lucio/Marquez out there? below 10m, with an expiring contract and still fit for squad cover? (I’m refering to how Inter got Lucio last season)

  4. Luke
    July 25, 2010

    Kevin, I should just point out that this is roughly the 19th time you have appointed this transfer saga as “dead”. Just saying’s all.

  5. DontPanic
    July 25, 2010

    If Cesc really comes next year then Keita will most likely leave. Right?
    Would Cesc be able to fulfill Seydous role in the team?

  6. Alexinho
    July 25, 2010

    Off-topic, but I thought you’d all get a kick out of this funny excerpt from John Nicholson, on the poor play of the English U-19s. Oddly complimentary…

    “There has been too much Spain-love recently – successful football doesn’t have to be played by 11 short-arsed fanny merchants – but the sad truth is this England team has no fanny merchant as at all. They are fannyless, in fact. The system they have been brought up in has surgically removed any fanny tendencies they might have had. We end up playing Stupid Football because we have bred stupid players unable to be creative, unable to control a ball under pressure, unable to pass the ball consistently accurately but who are bloody good at running fast after a ball, bloody good at out-muscling weaker players and giving the ball a hell of a thump with foot or head when they reach it.”

  7. Helge
    July 25, 2010

    What about the 3m Marcos Senna rumour? That would be a great deal, even if he was only a back-up for one year.

  8. fcbfan
    July 25, 2010

    Since we are talking about the EuroU19, anyone else think Planas is promising.

  9. GREECE BARCA
    July 25, 2010

    Senna?come on too old.better promote a youth.

  10. fcbfan
    July 25, 2010

    I’d welcome Senna if theres no one else. cause Busi needs a challenge, or else he’ll take his spot for granted and start those Busi moves.

  11. July 25, 2010

    I may prefer a player who has his best years in front of him. But if for whatever reason that’s not possible, Senna for 3M is a bargain-temporarily.

    @DontPanic, no Cesc cant do Keita’s work. Maybe -with a different holding midfielder- Busquets can.

  12. poipoi
    July 25, 2010

    iniesta is a sage

    I’d go all the way for ozil, he can become so great here I think…. pep can still do DM when busi gets tired 😉

  13. aULD sUPER
    July 25, 2010

    I agree with above and he’d be much cheaper that Cesc remember we’re nearly broke people. Save the 20-30m and let Cesc in london for a while.

  14. Kxevin
    July 25, 2010

    Well, Iniesta is basing his comments on a telephone conversation that he had with Fabregas. So I think that this does end it.

    I’d take Senna for 3m in a heartbeat. Given how much we would need him (probably in the Maxwell category), that would be a perfect deal.

  15. Kxevin
    July 25, 2010

    The latest, in the “blind leading the naked” category, has Goal.com citing Sport as the sourcing for a “Fabregas has agreed to personal terms with Barcelona” report.

    Here’s what’s going to happen. Iniesta is right. He has to be right, because he’s actually talked to Fabregas, which is more than can be said for any journos making this crap up as they go along.

    He will have talks with Wenger this week, and stay with Arsenal this season, and will make an announcement to that effect. I rather imagine that he and Wenger will talk about next summer, and the possibility of something happening then, but who knows.

    • Kari
      July 25, 2010

      Meh. I just came back from the future; he stays at Arsenal and we go on to kick ass and take names as per usual. Arsenal fans come back mid-way through the season and call us classless. We don’t give a crap and go on to win the CL and Liga.

      EE lose to Alcorcon (Sorry, wrong season) Huesca in the CDR.

      In other news, Contador wins the Tour de France. Tainted win, or hard-fought victory?

  16. GREECE BARCA
    July 25, 2010

    come on kxevin 3m for a 34years old??only for free i accept that transfer let s villareal make him happy as we do with anri marquez e.t.c

    • Kxevin
      July 25, 2010

      Nonsense. You have to pay something for quality. Go back and re-watch the Villarreal match from last season in which a still-knocked Senna came in and proceeded to own the midfield. Don’t focus on age, focus on quality.

      Senna would be a stellar short-term solution. This doesn’t even take into account what Busquets could learn from working alongside Senna. 3m is nothing.

      • stowe
        July 25, 2010

        i agree kxevin, any other “senna-like” players that you could see filling the same role?

  17. GREECE BARCA
    July 25, 2010

    and you know what i think?many here said no to cesc cause we have youth players to promote tiago,dos santos e.t.c and now you are saying to buy a 34yold for what reason?maybe i am stupid but you confuse me.

    • Helge
      July 25, 2010

      We do not have a promising defensive midfielder in Barca B right now. We’ve lost Yaya Touré, now there’s only one true defensive midfielder left – Busquets. Senna would be a nice back-up, even if only for one season. He wouldn’t mind being benched for the majority of the season, still he has enough class to challenge Busi (at least for this coming season). After that, he’s too old – but 3m for a world class defensive midfielder who already knows how to play with Xaviniesta, what more can you ask for?
      We paid 25m for Txigrinski, 45m for Zlatan – we’d have to pay 20m or more for Mascherano and Co., but they wouldn’t like to be substitute players.

      • Jnice
        July 25, 2010

        Oriol Romeu is a promising DM, but he will need a couple of more years before he is ready.

        3m for Senna would be a good deal, but I doubt it will happen/

  18. GREECE BARCA
    July 25, 2010

    helge except busi there are other players who need challenge!the reason i want cesc right know it s to learn things from xavi so in one two years be the replacement!and 40million is ok for a 23yold player who will be a starter for 7-8 years!we spend now but we save money for so many years!he is no ibra or villa with 2-3years of future!imagine
    if arsenal win titles this season and cesc had an amazing season next summer he will cost 60!am i wrong?

  19. CLUEless(John)
    July 25, 2010

    IN alll likelyhood if cesc told arsen that he would stay this season, and by Iniestas words, a feel is prolly I’m place to get Hume here next summer. Don’t worry greece, Cesc here next year still allows him to get 1-2 years with Xavi to learn. Have faith in the back room deals that goes on in football.

  20. Bojan
    July 25, 2010

    Well Senna for 1-2 year contract is fine by me just to find or perhaps train/buy a younger defensive midfielder, because usually defensive midfielders are central midfielders with defensive mind. The thing is that i completely agree that we should not waist money on a position that can play a defender or maybe a midfielder who has force and leg agility in order to steal balls and distribute the defence-midfield play. The DM role is just a helper of the D-Line! I think that in a year we will have strong DM player from the B squad, i mean i’ve been playing in that position and yes i must say that is a demanding position but still until we find a youngster we can take Senna just to bring experience to the pitch when busi is unavailable.
    VISCA BARCA!

    p.s. and for the “give it a rest” transfer of the “Cesc” i think we should wait for his contract to expire, still we have out-of-this-world midfield ;)))

  21. sirius
    July 25, 2010

    this entire article is a bit naive, if you think anything is going to stop because iniesta says something then thats crazy… we are gonna keep reading about this for quite some time

    • Kxevin
      July 25, 2010

      You’re right. Iniesta would certainly lie about having spoken to Fabregas about his decision. Makes perfect sense. It’s just another plank in our nefarious plot to lure everyone into a false sense of complacency, then …. bango! …. we pounce!

      Muhahahahaha!

      Sigh

      I’m naive and crazy. Really? Even if you completely exclude the fact that Iniesta has no reason to lie about having spoken to Fabregas about his decision, his cost is going to be 50m+, more like 60m if we want him this summer. And that cost could go up. We have approximately 39m left in the transfer kitty, saith the man who is preaching fiscal responsibility, Sandro Rosell. So now what? A gap loan? Or perhaps there’s some money left over from the 150m loan that we took out earlier this month?

      If something was going to happen, it would have happened long before now, and been ready to drop right after the World Cup, before Arsenal’s training camp started. At this point, were the transfer to happen, it would make Fabregas a weasel, and a man whose name is mud at the Emirates. And every aspect of his behavior in this situation has been precisely the opposite.

      So let’s assume that he suddenly doesn’t give a hoot what Wenger and the Arsenal supporters think. We’re still left with that fiscal complexity, atop the fact that Rosell has said that we won’t “go crazy” with this transfer. Which means no way in hell are we going to meet their valuation of him.

      All of which, I suppose, makes me naive and crazy. Whatever. We should make an appointment to watch Arsenal open the season with their captain in midfield. It will be Cesc Fabregas.

      • July 25, 2010

        kxevin relax dude.
        i think what he meant was,
        the rumors won’t stop. of course we all know he will come next season as said by iniesta but it will definitely not kill the rumors.
        it will go on and on.

        • Kxevin
          July 26, 2010

          I’m perfectly relaxed. But the post doesn’t refer to the endless press blabbing. It references the acutal situation. Sport and EMD will never, ever let this die.

          That doesn’t matter to me. What matters to me, and what prompted the post, was Iniesta saying “I talked to the dude. He ain’t coming.” That for me, ends it, irrespective of what press nonsense continues.

        • sirius
          July 26, 2010

          yeah i was referring tot he rumors the article makes it seem like just because iniesta says this that sport and EMD will stop writing about it. thats all. no need to get excited.

      • aULD sUPER
        July 26, 2010

        Who cares what they think about Fabregas or anything else for that matter at the Emirates ??? What poor mans Barca thinks is of no concern to anybody at the mighty Barca nor should it ever be.

  22. Jose
    July 25, 2010

    I agree with Iniesta. I think it’s for the best for us that Fabregas doesn’t come yet.

    I also agree that I want to see Fabregas win something with Arsenal. Forget all the trash their fans have said over the last few months–my favorite style of play in the English League is still Arsenal’s.

  23. July 25, 2010

    Remember when Senna came in last season and took control of the match instantly? Xavi and Busi were shook. And Pep had to bring Yaya in to bring order? That was one funny match

  24. vicsoc8
    July 25, 2010

    Senna would be a quality back up for one season, but that is just delaying finding a solution to the problem. After next season we would need to find a new defensive midfielder.

    Next year the Fabregas saga will begin anew (if it ever ends) and if we want to bring him to the club it is going to take close to all of our transfer kitty next summer. Therefore this summer we shouldn’t be buying short-term solutions. It would be much wiser to bring in someone young who can have a future at the club similar to Yaya’s – come in and play for 3-5 years, win a bunch of trophies, and leave for a large sum.

    If we are serious about bringing Fabregas next summer, we need to fill our needs this summer and not just delay it another summer. That means we need a young defensive midfielder, and if Marquez leaves a center back.

    I’m not against Senna, if we can’t find a suitable player who meets the requirements for DM then he is a good stop-gap option. However it makes more sense long term to buy a young DM this summer.

    • Jnice
      July 26, 2010

      Pep might be counting on Oriol Romeu next season.

  25. GoonerInBarça
    July 26, 2010

    If the rumours are true you guys could do a LOT worse than Senna. He has proven quality and if it wasn’t for his injury problems he would have been playing ahead of Biscuits.

    The Cesc rumours will not go away. EVER. The only thing that will stop them is the transfer actually happening. To be honest I think Arsenal should sell him to Inter or Milan or Citeh and make it someone else’s problem. I’m sure Citeh would pay upwards of €70m and then we’d see how long the rumours go on for…

    Coming back to the Cantera discussion, it takes years for the effects to be seen. Wenger has been at Arsenal for 14 years and it is only now we are beginning to see a productive youth system because of his vision. I’m not talking about current first team players either, I’m referring to youth players you guys have probably never heard of, e.g. Lansbury, Eastmond, Frimpong, Coquelin, Szczęsny etc etc. New rules have been brought into the premiership where 8 out of 25 players must come from an English academy. Teams like Citeh and Chelsea will soon fall foul of these rules and struggle when they get a few injuries. I could easily see a system like this being implemented across Europe if Platini & Blatter get their way. You guys would be fine but Real would definitely struggle a bit.

    BTW why do you guys call Pedro, P! and Real, EE?

    • GoonerInBarça
      July 26, 2010

      Also is anyone surprised that Cesc hasn’t said anything post world cup? He’s just won the biggest prize in football and is now on holiday. If you were sitting on a beach somewhere taking in the sunshine and a journalist came up to you I very much doubt you’d be happy. When he’s back next week (beginning of August is the date apparently) I’m sure we’ll hear something but until then I think we all just need a cup of tea and to sit down and relax 😉

    • Eklavya
      July 26, 2010

      EE = Evil Empire = Real Madrid

      Pedro is P! because last season when he finally made the squad list, everyone was “OMG! PEDRO IS BACK!! YAY GO PEDRO!!” and so Pedro always had an exclamation mark after his name. P! is a smaller version. 🙂

      • GoonerInBarça
        July 26, 2010

        Haha OK. I thought it might be something like that for Pedro but was completely baffled by the EE one.

    • July 26, 2010

      Spanish media insured today that “Barca put a deadline for Cesc till the end of the week”. Thats it. Afterward, if nothing happens…they will probably extend it to another week!

      Keep refreshing that page!

      • GoonerInBarça
        July 26, 2010

        I know, I was reading on the bus this morning. To be honest it’s just very very dull. I no longer care what happens, I just want an end. The media is boring. The same lines the Barça players and officials are using are boring and Cesc’s silence is boring.

        Also the UK press is quoting the spanish press who then quote the same article back which means the quotes are getting double translated. In otherwords the quotes are getting more and more twisted when in fact it’s the same original quote! The sooner Cesc speaks the better. Although it’s irrelevant as we know the clubs won’t reach an agreement on the fee! Shoot me please someone!

  26. GREECE BARCA
    July 26, 2010

    something off topic pep statistics:games 121 85w-25d-11l goals 296-96 2.4-0.79 WHOW and it will be better i think!

  27. GREECE BARCA
    July 26, 2010

    oh and something immpresive too!messi statistics the last 2 seasons:104games 85goals 32assists!

    • stowe
      July 26, 2010

      thats insanity! does anyone else even come close to those numbers?

  28. majatt
    July 26, 2010

    Umm…why are people so hung up on Senna? Could we not just move Marquez forward to the DM position and promote one of the younger CBs to replace Puyol over the coming season?

    • Kxevin
      July 26, 2010

      Because Marquez is outta here. And I just don’t think that Marquez has the foot ability to play DM.

      • Lou
        July 26, 2010

        I thought he did pretty well as a midfielder in the World Cup.

        I don’t understand why everyone is so keen to see Marquez leave. Yes he made a few mistakes last season (so did a lot of players), but he also had some great games (the 2nd leg against Arsenal for instance). He’s also excellent at free kicks, and a great passer.

        Plus if he goes that leaves three central defenders, which is about two short of what is required. It’s possible that one can be promoted from the youth team, but two? I don’t know. More likely we’d have to buy a new centerback, and it sounds like if Marquez goes he’ll be leaving on a free transfer.

        • mei
          July 26, 2010

          hes on decline , hes lost his place in the starting 11 so no motivation and has a pretty good salary for a defender.Its time to go.

        • July 26, 2010

          Lou I think Marquez wants to leave more that Barca wants to let him go. After wining everything with Barca a player of his age will have one of two priorities for the few more years he has in his boots, either more playing time (so he feels full before retiring), or more money. Barca cant guarantee any. Juventus can maybe offer the first, and Red bull the second.

          Wish him the best in whatever he picks. After all his dedication for the club, its fair now to give him a chance to prioritize his own needs.

        • DontPanic
          July 26, 2010

          Team always needs new faces to keep freshness and ambition. It is better to sell players that have already won everything and are on the decline, than to keep them and become stale and content. Look what happened to Milan.

    • Blow-Grenade
      July 26, 2010

      Senna is absolutely fantastic as a DM. If he is fully fit, it is just a treat to watch him play. I can only dream of having him play DM at Barca.

  29. Eklavya
    July 26, 2010

    Yaaaawn, I wish we’d actually sign someone…

    Without EE spending 439520m it’s kinda boring, lol. 😛

  30. stowe
    July 26, 2010

    off topic, did I really see Citeh lose to Sporting Lisbon 2-0? thought they were supposed to be good now

    • Kxevin
      July 26, 2010

      Then they lost 2-1 to the Red Bulls. But they didn’t have anything approaching the A team out there. Adebayor and Jo were out there, as well as Wayne Bridge, but that was pretty much it.

      • July 26, 2010

        Those are just friendlies. dont read a lot in them. Its not that Man city will win everything this season, but they will not play Man utd with the same motivation, preparation, tactics and formation they used against Sporting or Red Bulls whom I can imagine how motivated they were to win against an EPL team.

        Besides, if I am not wrong, its almost the middle of the season in USA. So there is one team at its peak form playing against a team that just came back from vacation.

  31. Luis
    July 26, 2010

    Im very much liking the Senna rumours. We could do with his experience in the later stages of champions league. I dont see his age as an issue. We need a reliable backup NOW as this is probably our weakest position ito depth. Buying a young talent wil have to adapt, its always a risk, and if hes any good he would want to play backup for long.

    • Blow-Grenade
      July 26, 2010

      Senna is fantastic. I love me some Senna. This should be barca’s primary priority as a signing.

  32. stowe
    July 26, 2010

    I posted this earlier, but I think it got lost since it was a reply:
    I think Senna is a great player and would fit our needs well: veteran that will assist in Busi’s development, challenge Busquets, and mesh quickly with the midfield.

    Here is my question: are there other players that could fit these same needs? Gilberto comes to my mind. what is your opinion of him and are there others?

  33. GREECE BARCA
    July 26, 2010

    jilberto silva?play here in greece.i don.t know-i have seen him in many games..maybe better than senna it s different level but against roma was very good.

  34. kjpankow
    July 26, 2010

    Mascherano just managed to get Liverpool to agree to let him go leave the club. Why not grab him?

    • lookout
      July 27, 2010

      Because your players will hate having to finish half their games with only 10 on the field. His best quality is making yellow card tackles look like simple fouls. English refs will let that go longer than their la liga counterparts and even then his disciplinary record isn’t the greatest.

  35. JP99Hristo8
    July 26, 2010

    just found this site and I wanted to say! that I think the writing on this site is awsome and everyone has good comments and opinions….this is an immediate favorite…

  36. Blow-Grenade
    July 27, 2010

    Cant wait for the games to begin…..

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