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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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.

138 Comments

  1. Hilal
    August 28, 2010

    Pep Guardiola (from Goal.com)

    “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 goal.com always mangle quotes? Pep said he is NOT tired of the Ibrahimovic situation…

  2. 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?

      • Dave
        August 28, 2010

        Again,just wait for the books

  3. 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 🙁

  4. blitzen
    August 28, 2010

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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

    • August 28, 2010

      Difficult to argue with that one.

  11. August 28, 2010

    sighhhh

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. GREECE BARCA
    August 28, 2010

    last summer we lost a ferrari for a seat ibiza and 46 m.so 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.

  16. GREECE BARCA
    August 28, 2010

    next summer ibra price will be 20m the maximum.so 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.
      **http://www.sport.es/default.asp?idpublicacio_PK=44&idioma=CAS&idnoticia_PK=724888&idseccio_PK=803

      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.

  21. Jose
    August 28, 2010

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

    Hahaha

  22. 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?

  23. 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.

  24. 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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