Adeu, Zlatan Ibrahimovic. We hardly knew ye.

I don’t have much to say about this one, yet. At least not any depth. Numbers aren’t available yet, but AC Milan and FC Barcelona have agreed to a one-year loan deal with an obligation to purchase at a number in the neighborhood of 40 million Euros.

I’m a little sad right now, not for the player and his gargantuan potential and never seeing it again in FCB colors, but for the way that this all transpired. In just a season, the man we labeled BANGS went from tens of thousands of fans swooning over him at the Camp Nou, to not good enough, to gone. And it was a mess. A big, fat mess that should have been handled better, irrespective of whose ultimate responsibility it was.

And the reputation of our club is a little …. no, a lot tarnished. At present, it is unknown whether we are going to replace him, or soldier on with what we have. While we’re figuring it all out, here’s a tip-top compilation of all of the goals of BANGS from this past season.

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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.


  1. BA
    August 27, 2010

    A WHAT?! A LOAN?! so we don’t have his services AND we’re still paying his wages!?

    wow. colossally, monumentally, mind-numbingly horrible management of this situation with the worst possible outcome for the club. when are the presidential elections again?

    • James
      August 27, 2010

      Where does it say we’re paying for his wages if it’s an initial loan? BA you need to wait before you jump to conclusions. We’re not paying for Ibra to play in Milan so Milan can decide if they want to pull the trigger on Ibrahimovic in a year when he’s worth less. I can guarantee you that much.

  2. ooga aga
    August 27, 2010

    isnt it still silly season. youre probably right, but i wont believe it until it is on the FCB official site. right now, it isnt.

    • ooga aga
      August 27, 2010

      what i mean is, i wont believe he is gone until it is on the official FCB website. someone cited as a (the?) source.

  3. Helge
    August 27, 2010

    What a sad day… I’m really devastated now 🙁

  4. jnelson
    August 27, 2010

    Are you serious? Seriously? SERIOUSLY? Hey Kevin, you’re a little late for April Fool’s but nice try.

  5. Helge
    August 27, 2010

    One year on loan and then obligated to pay 40m over 4 years ??? NOOOOOOOOOO, this has to be the worst nightmare ever!
    If we still have to pay his salary, we sold him effectively for 28m, but the money is transferred over a period of 5(!) years!
    Worst day since a very long time as a Culé.
    I will sleep now and pray that tomorrow morning, all this will have been a VERY bad joke. Farewell

  6. Kari
    August 27, 2010

    My Hector pills are working quite nicely—Okay, what the hell?! A loan?! A freakin’ loan. Not a pile of dosh and then some?! Robinho HFH@#$@$AI3HA&&&^y#!@*!)@#&#—

    *quickly swallows a bottle and a half of Hector Pills and injects self with Ramzi anesthetic*

    What are we talkin’ about?

    Ah yes, Atleti winning and preserving our legacy. Yeah. Who’da thunk it? Watch them go and start match day 10 in the relegation zone. They live to defy.

  7. Euler
    August 27, 2010

    The loan aspect of this is most likely accounting. It’s just a way for both Barcelona and Milan to make their books look better and possibly to help pay off Ibra’s exit bonus.

    The reason why Barca doesn’t want to sell Ibra now is because if they did they would have to take a large loss on their accounting books. If they can book the sale next year then they won’t have to take as big of an accounting loss.

    Milan has 70M euro of wages coming off of their books next season. That’s a big part of this deal. Milan probably doesn’t have the cash flow to start paying out Ibra’s transfer fee and salary this year.

    So if Milan was adamant about not paying out on the transfer fee’s first installment until next year Barca probably figured that they’d just book the sale as actually taking place next year for accounting purposes.

    Milan will pay Ibra’s salary this upcoming year while he’s on loan. The entire deal would make no sense if they didn’t.

    The real financial issue that still is unclear is how big the exit bonus Ibra will get from this will be. It could be very large.

    • Lou
      August 27, 2010

      So, does selling Ibra not make the finances look worse? After all, he was on the balance sheet as an asset, right? And they will be selling him at less than his listed value, even if they take the loss next year.

      • Lou
        August 27, 2010

        I guess what I’m asking is whether from an accounting point of view does this deal help with the club’s financial situation?

  8. Alex
    August 27, 2010

    Wow, watching that video make me VERY angry he is leaving. So stupid how it all turned out. We lost out two tallest and most physical players this year…..

    • IS
      August 27, 2010

      Actually – we lost our THREE tallest and most physical players :s

  9. Mohamad Sadat
    August 27, 2010

    Sky Italia is repoting that AC Milan will pull out the deal,they tried to reduce the fee from 40m to 30m but we refused,King Zlatan is stayiiiiiiiiing,Thanks god,I can bet on this.

    • Jnice
      August 27, 2010

      I checked Sky Italia’s website. It says nothing about that.

    • jnelson
      August 27, 2010

      I saw something on Sky Italia about it being a loan and 30m, not 40, and no backing out of a deal.

  10. Mohamad Sadat
    August 27, 2010

    I am not sure about the source but he is staying,this post Adeu Zlatan makes no sense

  11. jnelson
    August 27, 2010

    Shiiiiiit. Is this how I am going to have to live until Sep.1!? haha.
    I checked Sport, El Mundo Deportivo, and Sky Sports and they all, very surprisingly, have nothing posted regarding the deal. It must be true then, right????? fuuuuuuuu

    • Jnice
      August 27, 2010

      It’s not official yet. Probably won’t be until tomorrow afternoon.

  12. Euler
    August 27, 2010

    Given the way this deal is structured I would be very, very surprised if Barca got less than 40M. It wouldn’t really work for a host of reasons if they got less than that.

    Also, from Milan stand point even at 40M this is a very good deal for them. They got it done completely on their terms. Completely.

    They don’t have to pay out until next year. It’s in multiple installments. That decreases what it costs them in real dollars. On top of that structuring it as a loan could be extremely favorable to them depending on how they do their accounting.

  13. blitzen
    August 27, 2010

    I’ll believe it when I see it officially posted, not before. Ugh. I just want it to be over, either way!

    I was never a huge fan of Ibra, but I didn’t really want him to go, either. I thought he brought something different to the team, another option for Pep to think about can only make us stronger….right?

    But, you know, I just watched this video. And what I saw….every single goal (aside from the penalty) was set up by someone else. They did all the running, the passing, the finessing, and he just booted or headed it in after someone passed it to him. Nothing wrong with that, exactly, but compare it to what David Villa has done already after playing less than 90 minutes. How many touches, how many passes has he already had?

    I think Barca will be fine without Ibra. I’m sad to see him go, and even sadder about the way he is going. But…I guess we don’t really need him anyway. Good luck, Ibra, I hope you find what you’re looking for!

    • Jnice
      August 27, 2010

      But Blitzen, recall Villa’s goal against Milan? He did exactly what you said Ibra did in the video.

      And regarding touches, against Sevilla, Villa played on the left wing, so he will always get more touches than Ibra did playing in the center. Even so, Ibra had more touches when he dropped deeper against Milan.

      • blitzen
        August 27, 2010

        Well of course, most goals are set up by someone else, including Villa’s against Milan. I guess what I meant is that Ibra just didn’t “click” with the Barcelona style the way Villa does–naturally, since Villa also plays with the Spanish NT. But I would have loved for him to have another season to “gel”.

        Honestly, I don’t even know what I’m feeling right now. Disappointed, mostly. I was really looking forward to seeing how a three-pronged Villa-Messi-Ibra attack might work. This whole thing is a mess, and I want someone to blame and I don’t know who. I can’t help feeling that if everyone had just communicated better this never would have happened.

  14. Mohamad Sadat
    August 27, 2010

    oh sorry,it was just a Milan fan in a Barca forum saying that and saying that it was on skysports italy and I got excited as I want him to stay,but still this post makes no sense even if his percent of staying is 10%,anyway by 1 semptember,Zlatan will be training with the Barca shirt and I will come here to tell you that.

  15. Kari
    August 27, 2010

    Hilal, Aug. 17, 2010: “Everyone is assuming that Villa will score a gazillion goals this season and not that I am doubting him or anything, but I wonder what the fans will say if he only scores 20 goals or so. Will he be deamed a failure like Ibra?

    What would be an acceptable number of goals for a 40m striker to score? 30? 40? Clearly 20 is not enough for some, so just wondering, what is the number that will make the Villa buy a success?”

    I would love to know what number would have been regarded by most as successful. If the answer is 30 goals, well then Ibra gave 9 assists, which is very high for a striker, so he did actually contribute to 30 goals. I guess it doesnt count for some unless he scores them. I just find it so weird.”

    • Mohamad Sadat
      August 27, 2010

      its not about numbers,its about overall performance.Ibra had a very good year and he is called a flop because of his 70m tag,Barca fans are sick

    • Kari
      August 27, 2010

      Someone who is on Hector Pills, same day: “In all honesty, when people dislike a player, they try to justify their dislike by pointing to anything and everything.

      “He affects our dynamic”. “He’s too static”. “Our football looks disjointed and doesn’t flow whenever he plays”. “His body language pisses me off”. “He looks like a gangster”. “His nose isn’t that magnificent”. “He’s not Eto’o”.

      Basically, people don’t understand what exactly Ibra offers. When they do understand, they don’t like it. Why? Because it’s different to what they’re used to (WHICH IS THE POINT!)

      So they think, “Man, I don’t like this guy. How much did he cost? Eto’o plus a pile of cash?! The hell?! Then how much did he score? Less than Messi? Damn him! And we play like that when he’s in the line-up?! Sell him. He’s crap.”

      I’ll be honest and say that I was majorly bummed when Villa didn’t come last season (Remember, Villa was Pep’s first choice. It was only when Valencia said he wasn’t for sale at the last moment that we went for Ibra. Eto’o was also being difficult and no-one wanted to buy him. But you know that). Now that we have both, why not play the both of them? That’s surely better than picking one or the other. Duh!”

      • Mido
        August 27, 2010

        Correction:Villa was never Pep’s first choice,The reason behind Eto’o departure was Pep’s will to change our style,we became predictable,all of the teams knew the way we played,so if you look at the 2008-2009’s team and the 2009-2010’s team you will find 3 changes:Busquetes from a squad player to a starter,Pedro the same and Ibra,The Pedro and Busquetes thing was not planned because they earned their place because of hard work,yaya stated the season as our first choice but then Busquetes earned his spot and deserved to be our first choice,same with Pedro,Ibra:It was a very smart decision from Pep,Villa could have been only an upgrade to Eto’o as CF,being in the right time to finish providing the dimension of Pace but with Ibra,all of our game style would change,instead of using short passes to the pacy striker,we can use long balls to our striker,we can have a player who can hold the ball and allow the other players to move,a player who can give us a plan B because he has incredible technique and mad skills,so Pep’s choice was Ibra,we only went for Villa because we thought he would be cheap but when Valencia asked for 50m,we went for our top target with 20m higher,we were struggling to find a buyer for Eto’o also,but still the choice of Zlatan was brillian but paying 50m plus Eto’o was a bit too much

        • Kari
          August 27, 2010

          I respectfully disagree, Mido.

          Eto’o was in the last year of his contract and was always going to leave at the end of the 08/09 season (really, he was meant to leave during to summer before that season, but didn’t want to leave and decided to buckle down and work hard). Otherwise, he’d have left after the end of the 09/10 season on a free.

          Problem was, no one wanted to buy him. He was being difficult, from dodging answers to ignoring calls to having excessively high wage demands.

          IMO, the “change in style” that was stated during and after the Ibra deal to appease the fans that were no doubt uncomfortable with selling Eto’o after such a successful season. It made sense and it was something they could say was an “failed experiment” if it didn’t work out. Lo and behold. And we get Villa the next season.

          I’m sure Pep would have liked to have the same kind of striker for 09/10 season because, while he likes to tamper, I honestly doubt Pep would have wanted to make such a radical change to something that was working really well. Eto’o had to leave and Villa, a similar player who we were chasing all last year and the year before, wasn’t able to come.

          Therefore, in my eyes, Ibra was second choice.

          • jord(TM)
            August 27, 2010

            Kari pep had been trying to sign a” big tall guy” since his 1st press conference saying samu wasnt welcome ,before he ended up staying of course.

            I remember because there was talk about adebayor (this struck me with fear) and mino was flirting was us even then but ibra was always a distant dream, impossible but a dream nonetheless.Then samu stayed scored and a hatfull of goals but remember how helpless we were against chelsea.

            Tito said pep looked at him and said he didnt know where the goal would come from but lucky for us andres had destiny in his boots.If pep was happy relying on one in a million shots we’d have shelled out on villa since hes basically a more clinical version of samu, it was only 5 million extra after all, but for that money and the possibility of signing a striker that potentially would give more options and different systems to play, with the same cash(45 million), they chose ibra.

            Theres no way you “settle” for ibrahimovic.Not after the hell we needed to go through just to pull it off. Note Txiki never ruled out signing villa along with ibra after we had signed him.They probably just didnt predict henry would decline so quickly.Had they known, i think their priorities would have shifted.Of course these are all just opinions and pep could well have wanted the best striker in the world Bendtner for all we know 😀

          • Kari
            August 27, 2010

            I. remember. the. Adebayor. talk.


            Alright, alright. You guys win. I forgot about that press conference.

      • blitzen
        August 27, 2010

        Now, now, if there one thing you *can* say about Ibra, it is that he has a magnificent nose!!! 🙂

  16. Roz
    August 27, 2010

    Just makes you wonder what could have been…awsome wtf goals from could have been the best attacking 3 in the world. Bummed doesent describe it. Oh and btw Ibra was not a failure/

  17. jord(TM)
    August 27, 2010

    Is he still here? get out you big nose swede!etc. *cries* :’-(

  18. mei
    August 27, 2010

    hmmm ibra is gone.
    So will krkic get the no 9 now? sweet 🙂

    • Stephen
      August 27, 2010

      dont joke. thats a shame for our club.

  19. Dave
    August 27, 2010

    If that loan thing happens, its an act of absolute charity. Thats the politest way I can put it. Hey does anyone know if Barca are gonna sign a cheap target man or will that be Pique??
    Barca trying to cut their losses but we’re at our midget limit

  20. August 27, 2010

    As Euler notes, it’s a business thing. They are paying his salary, and it is functionally a transfer. Don’t get lost in the details. It will be announced tomorrow.

    • IS
      August 27, 2010

      Kev, considering the nature of this transfer and the way in which it’s evolved – where the figures and options (ie. loan/sale/loan+sale) keep changing on an hourly basis – how come you think that this is the ‘real deal’? For all we know it could turn on it’s head again tomorrow… (as many eternal optimists would hope for..).. after all, the BANGS hasn’t come out and spoken yet..

      PS. The title of this post, the inclusion of that video, and the preemptive timing of the post are making me think that despite your recent “Let’s get this crap over with – if he wants to go, give us the cash and take him” attitude, your soft spot for BANGS remains…

  21. flyzowee
    August 27, 2010

    Wow, its bad enough that i gotta watch yaya spred mayhem for city, now ill be wincing every time Ibra shouts Vamos!! for Milan.

    All becoz our club is under some illusion that egos equals exit door.
    Just imagine the maltitude of World Class players running around on free contracts if all clubs adopted our approach.

    19 first team players.
    For a team of our ambition
    U gotta be sh***en me.

  22. Dave
    August 27, 2010

    Yeah its sad day- don’t think he was given a fair crack at it. That wage bill was always gonna make him an easy target.
    Anyway they need two players. Cheap cf – and a cb.
    What a rotten horrible feeling its left after the year.

  23. Hilal
    August 27, 2010

    Wow. I am just disgusted. Not sure what to say.

    All i can do is pray that this whole mess is not Rosell’s doing and that Pep wanted Ibra out, that to me would be the only silver lining in this whole crapfest.

    My fear is the Rosell forced Ibra out and is now going to try and force Robinho into the team…. if that is the case we can say bye bye to Pep 🙁

  24. Dave
    August 27, 2010

    Rossell has some obsession with Brazilians-thou he isn’t associated with kerrison and henrique. We just can’t do proper exits at this club

  25. Dave
    August 27, 2010

    Well I don’t expect Pep to be manager forever-look at the stress on him as it is. And I don’t expect luis enrique to be coach of Barca b foever either.
    Thou if Pep goes I’m sure Rosell will give it to his man. nightmares about Koeman. Shakes.

  26. tMe
    August 27, 2010

    This is a huge fucking mess that could have been avoided. I’ll probably be accused of being a non-barca fan again for saying this, but Guardiola is far from perfect.

    I’m so disappointed.

  27. Shaun
    August 27, 2010

    Is it me or did all of this crap start when Rosell took over as presi? I know there were some people yapping about Ibra’s departure before the elections, but they weren’t nearly as ridiculous as they are now.

    It’s only been a few months, but you can clearly tell the club has put out a much more negative vibe than positive, and as stated in the article, the image and reputation of the club has been severely damaged.

    I know you can’t put that all on Rosell, but I can’t find any coincidence that it got more intense since he took office, and now we have this mess. It’s not only frustrating, but dare I say, sickening, too.

  28. vicsoc8
    August 27, 2010

    I just don’t understand how people are assigning blame at this point in time. I could play devil’s advocate and say it is Laporta’s fault for saddling us with a very expensive liability.

    The fact is we have no idea what happened, and so at times like this it is best to leave our pitchforks in the barn and practice being calm.

    • Shaun
      August 27, 2010

      Well said.

      Guess fans like myself are just too quick to find a scapegoat in a situation like this. It’s chaotic.

    • Colby
      August 27, 2010

      Perhaps it’s better to spend our time sharpening our pitchforks so that when we do find out who’s to blame… 🙂

    August 27, 2010

    good luck ibra!in sunday we have a match!i am tired with the negativity and the moanings here but ok,i guess for some of you some players are most important than the team.when eto left last summer i was pissed off but for me there is only the sad or whatever.the guy is a rich egomaniac bastard.i don.t give a shit about him.visca barca!

    • Ryan
      August 28, 2010

      Yes, but our team is becoming smaller, not only in actual average height but in its roster size! How are we supposed to compete on several fronts with such a small team?

  30. Dave
    August 27, 2010

    Piece of information coutesy of Graham Hunter
    ‘Zlatan, Hleb, Keirrison, Càceres, Henrique, Chygrinskiy.with wages, fees, and commission and we are touching €200m ill-invested.Take a bow.’
    Tikxi. thats depressing

    Devils Adovate;
    What about if Rossell is merely the whistle-blower at our catastrophic debt??
    God,I can just imagine Laporta literally rolling in the dosh.
    Actually I don’t know what to believe anymore. I’ll just wait for the book

  31. flyzowee
    August 27, 2010

    Every team in europe knows how we play, and make no mistake, we may no longer be european champions but our rivals know we remain the business.

    Problem is skill and technique can only take you so far, we have elevated the possession game to previously unimaginable standands.

    When ur fiercest rivals are in the mould of Inter, Chelsea, Man Utd and a Mourinho led Madrid, u dont sell off the little power and brute u have 4 wateva reason.
    This is why gettin mash is a step in the right direction

    How can you make changes to ur squad without factoring the demands and strategies of ur rivals, coz as far as i can see this is exactly wats happening.

    • Miguel
      August 27, 2010

      me too. this is his last training session w/barca, probably.


  32. IS
    August 27, 2010

    While some rumors generate anger, others just force a smile on my face…

    I just google translated a section from Sky Italia’s report on the transfer saga and from what I could make of it, while they are claiming that the price is now one year loan + 30m, they’re also suggesting that Galliani (who according to them is one of the ‘superstars of the summer’ along with Raiola and apparently Rosell) will squeeze us even further and bring it down to 25m!

    (no comment)

  33. andrew
    August 27, 2010

    hleb to benfica and caceres to sevilla both on loan.

  34. Blow-Grenade
    August 27, 2010

    I am one of the people who has never been an admirer of Ibra. I saw him in the Gamper against Milan, and I knew has had to go. He has the same problems as he had last term. Dont want to go into all of them. Both Bojan and Villa has better movement with and without the ball, and his game has not improved from the last time I saw him play last season.
    I have to give credit to Rosell and Guardiola to come up with this decision. Trophies or not, I will enjoy the Barca games more this season with an attacking line not made of Ibra, aka Messi Iniesta Villa Bojan Pedro!. Amen

    • August 28, 2010

      Sorry, but that’s a contention that just isn’t supported by watching the match. Krkic moves well without the ball. So can I. Question is, what do you do when you GET the ball. This season as last, if you’re Krkic, you lose it to a grownup, then throw up your hands and smile cutely as if to say “Boy, that would have been a goal had I not been muscled off the ball!”

      I can’t give credit to anyone who is willing to essentially GIVE a player away, and 30m is giving a player away.

      As for your increased enjoyment of a front line that doesn’t feature Ibrahimovic, Messi and Villa, congratulations. That makes you essentially a planet of one. Nothing wrong with that. I’ve been a planet of one on things such as the value of Hleb to the club, etc. Being a planet of one gives you plenty of space to roam, etc. Rock on.

  35. Diego S.
    August 27, 2010

    Can’t we give The Guard at the gate of Santos 10 Dollars and He’ll look the other way while we Take Keirrison Back ?

  36. Jnice
    August 27, 2010

    We also lost Adria Carmona to Milan yesterday on a free. He was highly rated at one time, I guess he wasn’t making the right progress with Juvenil A.

    I wonder how Iago Falque is doing at Juventus. Not too well I don’t think.

  37. Cesc Blanc
    August 27, 2010

    “And the reputation of our club is a little …. no, a lot tarnished.”

    aehm, why?? I mean, we’re talking about Ibra and Mino Raiola. They are kind of known in the business, especially when it comes to Mino wanting an exit for Ibra. He did similar shenanigans at every station before. In fact, I got both texts from Ajax and Inter friends, and both were “that a##hole again”. So, the only reputation we have now is that we fall for agents with terrible reputations. Otherwise, what reputation should be tarnished?

    • August 28, 2010

      Because we don’t do business like this, with agents bleating, our coach lashing out, and official legal statements of intent posted at the club Web site, then blowing a world-class player out for a cut-rate price. What do we sell Messi for when he falls out with someone? “Give us a tenner and he’s yours.”

      I want my club to conduct its business with respect and calmness. This is a rushed deal, and rushed deals are only good for one party.

      • Cesc Blanc
        August 28, 2010

        But you’re not seriously blaming the club over their behavior in the Ibra case, after Raiola went public and said that Pep will leave Barca before Ibra does, do you? I mean, until then there was no real problem with Ibra staying, he just had to accept his new role.
        And what exactly did you expect the club to do after Raiola going public? To treat him with respect? Besides, the legal issue is just to get rid of further contracts the club signed with Raiola. Not exactly a bad thing.

        And Messi is apple-orange comparisons. Messi is to us what MJ is to Chicago. That is, as long as Messi performs like he does, he is untouchable, whether we like it or not.

  38. Vj
    August 28, 2010

    I’ll wait till this is official but this smacks of bad management.. Loan for the first year? Are we that broke that we can’t afford 12m? 40m stretching over four years? Why not 1m spread over 40 years? Will look great on the books..

  39. VicNZ
    August 28, 2010

    well today is a day of highs and lows…more low than anything else though perhaps.
    I’ll miss BANGS, his fist pump celebration at the camp nou against EE will live long in the memory, one of the truest strikes iv ever seen. always believed in him and thort people were way to harsh :(.

    BUT there is the new addition to the family. Mascerano is gona keep Thong Boy on a leash in El Classico, hes gona kick some serious ass this year. I cant get over the fact how determined he is to win every ball when ever iv watched him. His passion reminds me to Zlatan, *sigh* ohwell.

    Replacement for Zlatan? Theres no one really that comes to mind. Adebayor can keep pissing off arsenal supporters at City. If a deal is struck and we have to pick either Huntelaar or Boriellio? id pick Boriellio …hestantly. Llorente and Augero come to mind but theres no way there clubs will let them go.

    Time will tell. Teu mateix, bona sort Zlatan.

    • Mikel
      August 28, 2010

      Mario Gomez is a Barca fan, and though he didnt do great last season at Bayern, he was previously a sort of goal-machine for Stuttgart. Besides he is tall, kinda plan B.

      Another tall player who had a subpar last season is Dzeko, but i believe he could do great at Barca

      • VicNZ
        August 28, 2010

        I would say Balotelli purely because hes got all the aspects of a great footballer…one thing that makes me say no though is his bloody ego and attitude. im just saying. Dzeko is interesting but he would be risky. I think were gona have to toughen it out untill winter.

  40. VicNZ
    August 28, 2010

    Lil Bojan’s 20 today 🙂
    i remember his debut like yesterday.
    and maxwell turns 29 aswell

    • VicNZ
      August 28, 2010

      and list for santander : Valdés, Pinto, Abidal, Alves, Milito, Piqué, Puyol, Maxwell, Adriano, Sergio Busquets, Keita, Xavi, Iniesta, Jeffren, Bojan, Messi, Pedro y Villa.

  41. Jim
    August 28, 2010

    Maybe there is some good to come out of this. If we don’t sign anyone, at last we’ll be able to make up our mind about Bojan who will probably see a whack more playing time. He’s at an age where he knows the system inside out, we have genuine LW /RW threat, he seems to have bulked up a little and he’s seen Pedro grab his chance. If he doesn’t make this a genuine breakthrough season with a shedload of goals then it’ll be time to say thanks and cheerio.

    I’m totally torn over him. I’ve always thought he was unlikely to make it at Barca as I couldn’t see what he offered. He doesn’t have extra pace, he’s not a great dribbler, he’s small – yet he scores the sort of goals that I see a number 9 at Barca as scoring a bunch of. A quick diagonal movement losing the marker for a second and a scrappy poke into the corner. He did come onto a game when we needed him during Ibra’s end to the season and even against Inter the oft mentioned header he missed he was there, he found the space where nobody else did against them and his speed off the mark for the disallowed goal was breathtaking for me.

    I dunno – maybe I’m clutching at straws. I know he has flaws, maybe he won’t see much time of Pedro keeps the form of last year but there is a bit of me that sees his desire to play for us and wants to see him get a run to prove it one way or the other.

  42. maiko
    August 28, 2010

    I think we are seeing the death throws of Laporta’s “legacy”. It’s on him Ibra arrived at the club, (is it only me who thinks he was tranferred in simply because EE spent so much that summer resurrecting their Galactico spending?)

    Anyhow, whichever spin is put on it, the half a billion euros of debt the club has strapped on brings vast pressure, look at Man Utd for example. That pressure on the club what is playing out now.

    Cheers Joan!

    • Vj
      August 28, 2010

      Yeah, thanks for bringing us out of a financial crisis to begin with, 4 Ligas, 2 CLs and an unmatchable squad..

    • Jim
      August 28, 2010

      Dunno. It’d be difficult to think of a situation where there was less pressure on Laporta to spend than last summer after the season we had had.

  43. drew
    August 28, 2010

    selling ibra for 30million euros is a joke

    • Helge
      August 28, 2010

      Let’s wait till 18:30 CET when the deal will be made public. I don’t believe this yet, Rossell is looking to reduce our debts, consequently he CANNOT accept a 30m for Ibra… that would be idiotic.

    • maiko
      August 28, 2010

      Not as much of a joke as buying him for 42 million euros + wages + Eto’o and then getting shot after one (decent) season. And in the same tf, bringing Chygrynsky in (and out) for a loss of ten million.

      The euros may as well been piled high in the centre circle of the Camp Nou and set on fire, bonfire of the vanities style!

      • Eklavya
        August 28, 2010

        LOL @bonfire of vanites reference

  44. flyzowee
    August 28, 2010

    You guys better believe it!
    At this point im bracing myself for a 25 million shocker.

    • DontPanic
      August 28, 2010

      It wouldn’t be a shocker at all. Relationship between Barca and Ibra-Riola has drastically deteriorated in the last few day, so Milan can easily come with “take it or leave it” offer of 25-30m. This whole affair is a complete disgrace.

  45. zeebarca
    August 28, 2010

    As much as it pains me to say this, we need to realize that when you’re the biggest, most expensive signing in club history (Ibra) we expect more from you, especially when you take home a monster salary to boot.

    I was really excited to see Ibra come to Barca and I thought he would be able to create goal scoring chances out of the most difficult situations. But the simple truth is that he is not built for Barca’s attack. He is too big, and too static.

    Pep won’t buy more player now but … we need a striker now that Ibra has gone, some one to come off the bench in Villa’s absence… any thoughts, guys?

    • August 28, 2010

      My first thought is that all-caps is the equivalent of shouting. Please refrain. Other thoughts to come later.

  46. ML
    August 28, 2010

    Side note, is anyone having trouble with the NewsNow stream? Mine hasnt opened in at least 3 days.

  47. flyzowee
    August 28, 2010

    Forget bout transfers, its too late
    We are laying seige on three competions with an army enough to win the battle but perhaps not the war.
    Hope i eat humble pie

  48. Hilal
    August 28, 2010

    Pep Guardiola (from

    “I am tired of the Ibrahimovic situation, we will see what happens in the coming hours,” Guardiola told the press.

    “I am not happy with the way this situation has been managed. For now Ibrahimovic is a Barcelona player. We will see what happens.

    “I am the boss here, and I decided not to pick him [for Sunday’s clash against Racing Santander].

    “In a normal situation he would have been picked. But in this situation it was best not to select him.

    “In any case I am staying calm and will make team decisions.

    “Raiola? I am surprised that he knows me so well. I have ever only spoken to him once in my life.

    “I thank the club for defending me after they published the statement. That has not affected me as I can defend myself. I said okay to the statement and now it’s with the legal team.”

    • Jnice
      August 28, 2010

      Why does always mangle quotes? Pep said he is NOT tired of the Ibrahimovic situation…

  49. Luke
    August 28, 2010

    I liked Ibra a lot. I thought he could fit in well here, but as has been laid bare recently, he had a shit relationship with Pep (likely through his own doing) and the club realized this during the summer and those transfer rumors weren’t made up, but were real feelers put out by club or agent.

    While this was made by the club’s own doing, it is now more clear that all those comments Pep made recently about not wanting to talk about the Ibra situation were not anger towards the club for trying to sell, but unease from Ibra misunderstanding how to be approach the manager, and eventually morphing into Pep not wanting to comment on ongoing transfer issues.

    • messi_fan
      August 28, 2010

      I agree for the most part. But one thing bothers me. It seems that for the most part the two had a strained but professional. So what suddenly happened that damaged the relationship beyond repair?

  50. Helge
    August 28, 2010

    Am I in hell?
    Sky Sports Italia reports that we will start negotiations with Robinho once Ibra is sold to AC Milan…
    I thought it couldn’t get any worse, but apparently I was wrong. I really wish today was the 31st of August, cuz I can’t stand these rumours and the insecurity about how our (new) squad will look like anymore 🙁

  51. blitzen
    August 28, 2010

    Ibra was in training with the team today as usual…if he is leaving, why bother?

  52. Dave
    August 28, 2010

    Someone mentioned a few cfs above-Dseko don’t know much about him
    Mario Gomez and Adebayor? no way. Gomez is dreadful and Adebayor has an attitude problem. What we need right now is to let the squad settle.
    Plus all the above will cost a bit, we need a cheaper option. He’ll be a back up player.
    Plus lorente will cost a bit- along with martinez hes Bilbao’s marquee player

  53. flyzowee
    August 28, 2010

    Crazy stuff
    U guys thought Ibra was lazy? Watch robinho.
    He is sulking egoist, and given the way our transfers have gone so far, we might as well stick to our guns and rely heavily on the cantera

  54. August 28, 2010

    For the record, if we sell Ibrahimovic for anything less than 40m, we are stupid beyond imagining. That really would make it feel like bad business, because he is also wanting a golden parachute, something that I never, ever understand.

    Although in this case I do, because he’s taking a pay cut to get the hell out of town so really, we should lay some dosh on him to ease the pain. Why not, as long as we’re throwing good money after bad.

    Guardiola’s comments speak to a relationship that is not only strained, but nuked then bulldozed with a herd of cattle pissing on the ashes. Galliani has sensed this, and worked a deal that could only be more appalling had Rosell dropped trou, bent over a desk and said “Don’t hurt me, big daddy!”

    I don’t like it. Not for an instant.

    For the record, my view on the Ibrahimovic stay, despite the people saying “I told you so,” “Too static,” blah, blah, blah, is look at that video above, then look at his play in the Gamper, then talk to me about a player who is too static. It’s okay not to like a player. People do that. But when evidence contrary to supposition is staring you in the face, it bewilders me how the incorrect notions can continue.

    I wanted to see how he, Villa and Messi were going to work. Was it going to work? Who knows. Should the club have kept him another season to see if he would indeed improve in his second year with a club, as he has always done? I believe so.

    But I can also understand the financial reasons for wanting to sell him right now, related to his value and age.

    And yet, that value seems to be plummeting by the moment. We’re now hearing numbers in the 25-30m range. Usually, when you hear a range, the real number is on the low end of that scale. I’m not happy about this situation right now. Our club is being taken advantage of, and I think that we’re selling a Ferrari for the price of a family sedan. It’s stupid, short-sighted and further spits in the face of a player who only got a fair shake for as long as he kept pouring in the goals. Once he stopped, “He sucks,” “We’re too static with him in the lineup” “Krkic is better” (my favorite), etc.

    As I noted before, this is an insanely difficult environment in which a player is to ply his trade. I’m sure had he known that he would be called shit for having, statistically, a very good season when you look at his previous output, season-to-season, he would never have come. Who can blame him?

    But this deal, if it is for 30m, is nonsense. 40+ makes me okay with it. 30 is just letting someone take advantage of you, particularly now that they know you can’t keep the player, and make no mistake, we canNOT keep Ibrahimovic.

  55. August 28, 2010

    Latest is that the loan thing is off the table for us. We want him sold right now, full stop. Negotiations continue.

    • Hilal
      August 28, 2010

      So what happens if a deal cannot be reached…

      • August 28, 2010

        A deal will be reached, even if we have to take it on the chin. I just don’t think that we can keep Ibrahimovic. Milan knows that, are in the driver’s seat in these negotiations.

    • Reagan
      August 28, 2010

      I’d like to believe there’s a silver lining here. The last time we won two seasons in a row, we kissed away a league title that was ours to win. We have bought 3 players of high high quality and super psyched to win trophies. We all know that Ibra is somewhat of a fiery character – I remember very vividly when Messi bagged a hattrick against someone and Ibra had a zillion chances but couldn’t put even one away, he was not part of any the Messi goals and he is a bit of a sulk artist. Sure, people will say he’s professional and i love the guy to bits too but it’s best for us that this happens now instead of exploding in the middle of a season.

  56. Euler
    August 28, 2010

    If Barca sells Ibra for less than 40M they are truly daft in the head.

    Gaillini always had the reputation as a shrewd negotiator and he’s really playing this perfectly. He’s doing his job – extracting the maximum value possible during a purchase by taking advantage of a circus.

    Let’s see how the deal plays out – but that valuation is horrible. The club will have to take massive losses on this sale.

    Though the club spent 49M in cash on Ibra that’s not what the book value of the deal was. Even though Eto’o functionally had no market value last summer he has to be given a book value as a asset of the club. That value was put down in Barca’s accounts as 20M.

    If they sell now for 30M they will have gotten back less than half of what Ibra as an asset was put down in their books for.

    In fact Ibra’s book value as an asset now after one year of depreciation is around 56M. To get back 30M, never mind 25M, would be getting back half or less of his depreciated value.

    The only way a disaster this large can be completed is with Robinho. Somehow that would be a completely fitting end to a disastrous summer.

    Fabergas – Ibrahimovic – Robhino. There’s a fitting progression of incompetence there.

    • August 28, 2010

      Euler sums it up perfectly. For me, it isn’t Ibrahimovic. I consider him an ex-Barca player now, the only question is price. If the price is what we are NOW hearing, it’s stupid beyond imagining. The perfect capper would be to bring in Robinho. It’s the only option that makes “sense,” right, in a club that suddenly seems hell-bent on being stupid.

      It’s unacceptable. The time to sell a car is NOT when you push your current car onto the dealer’s lot, and don’t have money for bus fare. It is when you can walk on the deal, if you don’t like the numbers.

      But we can’t walk on this deal. We have to get it done, which not only puts Galliani in the driver’s seat, but it puts us, bound and gagged, in the trunk.

  57. csidle
    August 28, 2010

    FC Barcelona need a PR team. Fake quotes and internal affairs or not, the handling of the Ibrahimovic and Fabregas sagas have been appalling and Barca’s image has been torn to shreds.

  58. August 28, 2010


    AC Milan executive director Galliani still tries to lower the transfer fee for Ibrahimovic that would at this moment be 30M. [sky italia]

  59. August 28, 2010

    I’ll say it right now. We should walk. We should get up from the table, and walk away. Rosell should say to Guardiola, “We couldn’t get this done. Sorry, but you will have to make it work with the player, and we will take another run at it in January. But this deal is impossible.”

    As with Fabregas, Ibrahimovic would be a professional, and I’d be more than happy to say “Whoops! My bad,” on this post. The player has said that he and his family are happy in Barcelona. It would be risky, but I would walk. We took a stand against his agent, now let’s take a stand against someone who is clearly trying to rob us.

    • csidle
      August 28, 2010

      I have to say that this saga has really shaken my confidence in Pep. He’s a great tactical coach and he certainly knows how to get the best out of our players, but he has not impressed me with his uncompromising attitude in some cases. Generally, such an attitude is positive, but in cases such as this, where he has SEEMINGLY become so stubborn that he refuses to work with Ibrahimovic any longer, it harms the club and it makes me feel that Zlatan is being treated very poorly by the club.

      I think we should walk out on the deal, but that’s more because I love Zlatan to shreds and think he would have a great second season if he stayed. I think the whole issue here is with his agent demanding Zlatan to start every match, which I don’t believe Pep would accept for any player at all.

      Zlatan’s determination is high enough that he’d continue to give his 110% for the team if he was to stay, and it’d improve the team to have him around.

  60. Euler
    August 28, 2010

    They should pull out of this deal if need be and look to sell Ibra next summer to Man City who will then likely be in the CL.

    Pep will just have to make it work for a year. Pep wanted the club to spend 69M on Ibra. It’s now Pep’s responsibility to make this work for one year so the club avoids massive financial losses.

    This is a ridiculous way to run a business. If you invest 69M in an asset you have to make sure it works. And if it doesn’t you have to salvage it’s value as you can.

    But If you decide you have to sell at all costs – which you almost never truly have to do unless you are out of cash – then you are going to make a horrible deal.

    For Barca to not have engaged Man City to sell Ibra prior to their completion of the Balotelli deal was disastrously incompetent.

  61. August 28, 2010

    Looks like Ibrahimovic’s exit bonus will be tied to the fee that Milan pays. Rosell has arrived on the scene, and is waiting to start new negoatiations with Milan.

    All this for an unkeepable player …. man, have we screwed the pooch on this one.

    • Euler
      August 28, 2010

      Looks like Ibrahimovic’s exit bonus will be tied to the fee that Milan pays

      This is what I was referring to in my post yesterday. Ibra has been asked to subsidize his own transfer. That wasn’t going to fly and he was going to recoup at least some of that money in some way.

      That’s why I was hesitant about the transfer fee reported at 40M. What matters is the net amount going to Barca after Ibra’s exit bonus and Raiola’s cut. And given how the deal has evolved both of those were always potentially significant.

    August 28, 2010

    last summer we lost a ferrari for a seat ibiza and 46 stop that thing.euler and kxevin it s your opinion but if you try to make me sad that ibra leave sory but you can.t.we have villa,macherano and andrino in.and i am happy.enough.

    • Euler
      August 28, 2010

      You’re of course welcome to feel however you want.

      But right now the club looks poised to lose upwards of 40M on Ibra off the book value they paid for him only one year ago.

      So for one year of Ibra’s services the team will be out around 55M of value.

      This is horrible for the team’s financial health. Not sure what there is to be happy about the club suffering that way financially.

    August 28, 2010

    next summer ibra price will be 20m the i take 30 and i say thanx to milan for that gift.

    • Kxevin
      August 28, 2010

      A deal should make sense. This one doesn’t. Stop looking at it through “I hate Ibrahimovic” eyes and look at what’s best for the club.

  64. poipoi
    August 28, 2010

    Ibra did not have a good year IMHO, it was not bad but not good either… he had his goals ok but he’s the world’s nº1 9 … etoo was not and scored more… 😉 but to me what counts he started with all of our confidence and by the end of the year he had lost it, of many cules and pep also me thinks. At least he’s not as good as mino raiola says he is 😀 or the contract he has. BANGS is just “not indispensable”, more like “dispensable”. There’s the salary subject also, liek with titi vs pedro!. How much will villa earn? Much less than ibra for sure. Besides he won’t complain about playing in the wing.

    Even if villa scores 15 goals he can look better than ibra, what counts is the performance not just the goals. I just have the feeling that Villa will score, and I know the player much better than I knew Ibrahimovic before coming here, I mean I saw some videos but not full matches, only with sweden and he was not that good either. Besides compared to Ibra it’ll appear as if Villa runs upward like crazy! 😀 And Villa has played some years with xavi and iniesta already, scoring some goals. He should get along fine with the system. Remember all this season people were claiming that it was the system that had to change not ibrahimovic. Villa will fit well in the system I think that’s why we signed him.

    • August 28, 2010

      Remember this when Villa has around the same number of goals as Ibrahimovic at the end of his first season. We’ll talk then, and see what you think. Until then, it’s all player related. And if 21 goals and 9 assists is a “not good” year, perhaps if players are to be measured by that standard, we should just give up now with any new signings. It’s unmeetable.

      • poipoi
        August 28, 2010

        they are kicking BANGS out, even maybe loosing money so his year was not good no matter of the numbers, I don’t know how people still say his year was good. The club is looking for an exit for ibra that is significative I think, not the numbers. Villa can score 15 and still look good but let’s see, although the uncertainty is smaller due to the time shared in the national team, so I think he’ll do good.

        If my data is right:

        ibra – 12 mill … 20 goals
        villa – 7 mill … x goals

        12 – 20
        7 – x

        x= 7(20)/12 = 11.66666666 goals/season

        11.7 goals by villa this season would be fine in a “rosellian” world… if we only think in terms of money and investment, 12 already superavit 😀 😀 😀 just kidding but the money counts and that dude earns too much plays too little. no way he earns as much as messi or even the captains.

        • poipoi
          August 28, 2010

          by “fine” I mean, do at least what the last striker did. what ibra did

  65. hannibal
    August 28, 2010

    It really doesn’t matter who’s to blame for this Saga, but I only see two of viable options for Barcelona at the moment:
    -Galliani opens his wallet and throws 40million on the table (actually he will just put a signature thereby agreeing to pay later,which isn’t all that great). Off that 40million, which would be the amount necessary to get this deal sold to the Culés, we will pay Zlatan and his pimp a royal commission.

    -Zlatan fires his pimp and he’ll stick with us at least untill the january transfer window.

  66. Philo Barca
    August 28, 2010

    If the money’s not there, then this is perfect opportunity for Rosell to show some huevos and leadership and walk away. He already refused to overpay for Cesc. He should refuse to undersell Ibra now. The situation with Pep, Raiola, and Ibra will then need to be resolved. Ibra doesn’t like competing for his starting place? Well, he’s getting insanely compensated to do it, and he should tell his agent to shut up about Guardiola’s personnel decisions and enjoy his 10-12 million a year. With Ibra/Villa and Busquets/Macherano and the different looks that Adriano can give us depending on where he plays, we have a tactical flexibility that we haven’t had in a while. Petty interpersonal gripes should not get in the way of that.

  67. Cesc Blanc
    August 28, 2010

    It would be good if someone could enlighten us on the issue, but aehm, let’s just say the loan deal and then 25 Million Euros “makes sense”. If the player is sold only next year, then there will be another 10 Million(or whatever) on his amortization and then we will get 25 Million Euros, which makes the loss over the deal less than it is now. I just don’t know if a player on loan is counted in the amortization, but that kind of would make sense, and obviously, it would also be better for Sandro and his friends. If we also get the 25 in one piece, that might be better also, as it would give us more freedom on the market for next season(although frankly, I would like a petition to sign no player for next season, except for maybe Llorente).
    So aehm, yes, hope it makes sense and why this ain’t that bad, but maybe Euler could explain it better.

    • Cesc Blanc
      August 28, 2010

      ok, apparently that’s really the maths they did. 25+12 player amortization + 15 million in wages saved is around 52 Million Euros, which comes close to 60 Million Euros, the number they say the deal will make in the end.

      blue box in the end for those who speak Spanish.

      • Cesc Blanc
        August 28, 2010

        sorry…the 60 they count to save is 24+3x salary = 60. But my number is probably the one they can put on the financial report next season as earning.

  68. Jose
    August 28, 2010

    Galliani send me here, and he told me that I am able to buy Messi here for 10 mil. EUR?


  69. Jose
    August 28, 2010

    OK, so my offer to Barca for Messi will be 2 (years) x 3 mil. EUR and 1 (year) x 4 mil. EUR?

    So we have a deal?

  70. Joseph
    August 29, 2010

    He is gone and we should all move on. Personally, I would have given him one more season but there is a lot we fans don’t know about and we have to trust the judgement of our coaching staff even if it fouls our emotion.

  71. Galliani Adriano
    September 3, 2010

    Still he is not gone, still Milan is able to say NO, or still Milan is able to say we will give for him 5 mil. EUR, take it or leave it. So what about that? Rosell must accept or he have one more option, to return back Ibra on Barcelona bench, than to try to sell him to some other team, what is highly unlickely, because in that case Barcelona need new agreement from Raiola and Ibra, for transfer in new club, what is also highly unlickely. So in that case Rosell need to pay Ibra 2 x 12 mil. EUR (2 years contract), plus difference Ibra wage in Milan vs. Ibra wage in Barcelona, what is extra 4 mil. EUR, so after all in that option it will be 28 mil. EUR from Barcelona to Ibra, and situation on Barcelona bench will be much worse than before Ibra’s loan to Milan.

    So Galliani will come next year with offer of the 5 mil. EUR for Ibra, no mater how he play in Milan because if Milan refuse to pay 24 mil. EUR for Ibra, than Barcelona is much bigger trouble than before they loaned Ibra to Milan, plus debt 600 mil. EUR, plus Villa’s wages, Barcelona MUST accept Milan offer for Ibra, even if it is 5 mil. EUR.

    It is obvious Galliani and Raiola are big business boys for Barcelona’s amateurs. They are able to destroy them, if they like, so Barcelona must be carefull to not made them angry or something like that, with other words, Barcelona must kiss Galiani, Raiola and Ibra’s asses all year, I mean to kiss them a lot.

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