Udinese/Sanchez: Astute business or moneygrubbing scum? A debate

This is how it all began, in GChat:

Isaiah: You’re the journalist, make us some news. Print something in the trib that we can cherry pick.

Kxevin: I got nothing except a head full of bile regarding this Sanchez/Fabregas business and player happiness. There’s probably something in there kicking around. Jeffren, Krkic, Sanchez, Fabregas will all leave/not leave. None will be happy.

Isaiah: Right. I mean, there’s nothing. We’re like an empty wasteland and I’m pretty happy with that right now.

Kxevin: Because there’s nothing. It’s just that time of year.

Isaiah: Yup. And I don’t have the time or energy to do a research piece.

Kxevin: I think at this time of year, the only things to really react to are money-grubbing scumbags named Pozzo.

And then we started chatting.

Isaiah: What’s wrong with him holding out for extra cash? As I understand it, players get a percentage of the transfer fee too (and certainly agents do), so it’s in everyone’s best interest except Barça’s.

Kxevin: The number keeps changing, and it doesn’t have his player’s wishes at heart. We could have held out for a Ronaldinho auction. He wanted Milan, so we sent him there. But for this player, it isn’t about money, it’s about wanting to play for a specific club, right?

Isaiah: So say the baseless rumors.

Kxevin: Well, there’s the story about the promise to the now-dead father figure, that isn’t at all baseless, and probably counts for a lot with the player.

Isaiah: I haven’t bothered to read those. I figure a deal will get done if the club really wants him and won’t if they don’t. If they say €28m and some incentives and ManC offers €40m cash, well, he’ll be in light blue next year. I’m sure ManC will pay Sanchez a higher salary too.

Kxevin: For sure. They have offered more cash, and a higher salary. And the player doesn’t want it, even if the club wants the higher fee.

Isaiah: Then Udinese will come around after some time of pressuring Sanchez and if Sanchez really wants Barça over money, he’ll go to Barça.

Kxevin: Yup. But it doesn’t keep the whole process from making me sick. The price was 30, then 35, then 40, now it’s 50 and not a penny less. NOBODY will pay 50 for Sanchez.

Isaiah: Of course not. But given that Ashley Young is worth 20m, Sanchez being worth 28 makes no real sense. Or if Andy Carroll is worth 35mGBP, or if Torres is worth 50. I don’t mind Udinese playing hardball. They’re a little club struggling to make cash off a huge empire. Fine with me so long as it has Sanchez’s blessing (which it probably does)

Kxevin: I just have a problem with naked greed. They bought him for less than 2m. Selling for 35 is an amazing bit of business.

Isaiah: It’s true. And were we fans of Udinese, we’d be cheering like no tomorrow. We bought Toure for 9m and sold him for 24m. That’s a good bit of business too.

Kxevin: I wouldn’t be. But that’s just how I am. Toure is an excellent bit of business. And he flew out the door for 24. What if we’d said “He’s worth 60, and not a penny less.” We’d have just been greedheads.

Isaiah: Except if someone was willing to pay it. If someone came and said “we’ll offer you 70m for Messi,” we’d say hell no…how about 170?

I don’t disagree that money is kinda ruining the game, but in these circumstances, Udinese is fine to do this. Now, if Sanchez is making daily calls to Pozzo saying “Doood, sign the contract” then yeah, that’s a problem. Player’s rights are stomped on constantly.

Isaiah: We paid £2.25m for Figo and got £37m for him 5 years later. (I just wondered how much we’d made off him–has nothing to do with this conversation)

Kxevin: True, but I don’t ever recall us holding an auction, and changing the price weekly. Set the price, try to honor the player wishes, and off you go. Seems like we have a post right here, with just this conversation.

And so we do. For the record, I’m all for capitalism. Buy low, sell high if you can. Rock on. Nobody will be holding any tag days for FC Barcelona anytime soon. But even as I am not a fan of any individual player, I do think they’re human beings, who have wants and desires. If Sanchez were down with playing for Citeh, this deal would have been months ago. And whether you believe the news stories out of Chile that he refused to get on a plane to meet with them, the fact that this deal isn’t done, with him being presented at Eastlands makes it clear that he wants to come to Barca.

We see other issues with player happiness, again depending on who/what you believe. Does Fabregas want to come “home,” and that mean ol’ Wenger is keeping him against his will? It probably depends on whether your club of choice wears red/white, or Blaugrana. And there’s the matter of asking price, as in “If you want to talk, bring 60 million pounds,” a number that says they aren’t interested in selling.

And that’s fine. But as his contract continues, his value drops until he reached the last year of it (unless he renews), in which case Arsenal won’t even get what we’re offering now. I think the player’s wishes should be respected.

Krkic didn’t want to be a makeweight in any transfer deal. We honored that request, dealing him to Roma. Jeffren didn’t want to be a makeweight in any transfer deal, and now he isn’t. Where will he go? Good question. But we honored the player’s wishes by not forcing (not that we could) the Udinese thing.

At some point for me, it becomes about honor and respect, from both the buying and selling club as regards each other, as well as the questions about what the player wants.

But enough from us. What say ye?

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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.

118 Comments

  1. K_legit
    June 24, 2011

    Its Rosell who’s being the chump here..Sanchez’s buy out was 20 mill not too long ago

    and to be honest I think we made bad deals on Toure and Deco..both could have fetched us a lot more than they did

    • Vj
      June 24, 2011

      Really? They want him out because he couldn’t fit into a 4-4-2? Pretty unimaginative when it comes to writing out figments of imagination..

      • Josep
        June 24, 2011

        I didn’t read it but Wenger and 4-4-2? He’s been 4-3-3 variating since Monaco..

        • Dave
          June 24, 2011

          Not sure about Wenger ‘being 4-3-3 variating since monaco’. The invincibles were 442 or 4-4-1-1 (with Berkamp off Henry). In 2006 Cl campaign they were 4-5-1 for the most. Arsenal and 4-3-3 is very recent, last season onwards I’d say. That said,there’ s a belief among some Arsenal fans that 4-3-3 isn’t the best way forward

          • stowe
            June 25, 2011

            arsenal fans are a bunch of chumps. play a system that works for your players. i would agree that 442 isn’t best for cesc but who plays a real 442 anyways nowadays?

    • ciaran
      June 24, 2011

      That makes sense. I wouldn’t want to be without both of those players.
      If it was possible to sign Cesc for maybe €35million then I’d be happy for the whole thing to be finished. Personally, I can think of better ways to spend €35million but I don’t think anyone is listening to me.
      The club should also be switching focus to Juan Mata instead of Sanchez with the amount of money Udinese are looking for. If Barca pull out of negotiations with Udinese it wouldn’t take long for Sanchez to come out with his true wishes

  2. Vj
    June 24, 2011

    *Shock* *Awe*
    Is it me or does Isaiah sound too levelheaded to be true? A whole pst without Hleb? You really want us to believe that it was him?

  3. mom4
    June 24, 2011

    This is my first Silly Season knowing enough to be dangerous to be scared. I HATE IT!

    Last year my big concern was how Pep was gonna manage enough playing time for P!! and Bobo if we had both BANGS and Villa, and ignorance was bliss (in my defense CT had finished the 09/10 season well, hence my concern for his playing time).

    This, I guess is my first season in which I’m not only concerned for the team, as in the players, but also for the club. I want a winning team, but I want value for our money, and I don’t want us to get taken by greedy owners. I wish we could just walk away from the Sanchez thing. He may be a great prospect but he has no real track record. Just flip Pozzo the figurative bird and say see ya later, good luck talking your commodity into Manchester, I hear the weather there is lovely.

    • June 24, 2011

      Don’t be scared. The club needs depth more than superstars, which he have in abundance. It’s easy to forget, with all the talk, that this club won the double, and was one unmade clearance away from probably winning the treble …. again …. twice in three seasons.

      This club doesn’t need a lot of help.

      Other reasons for optimism: Thiago is a year older and better, Fontas is on hand and ready, Villa should have his confidence back. He will also be fitter and better integrated into the side, and shocking as it seems, Messi is getting better. Then there’s a player such as Afellay, who is also fast improving.

      Pozzo’s comments about Sanchez being the “missing puzzle piece” are hilarious, because he wasn’t even the “missing puzzle piece” for Udinese.

      My list of signings is still kinda fluid, but includes Willian, who can be had for 5-10m, a forward (with Afellay and Willian, we’d gain the wing flexibility to move folks around) and a defender or two. Done, for way under 45m. I’d also give Soriano a good, long look this pre-season.

      • mom4
        June 24, 2011

        You make a lot of sense. The market does not. Our handling of it does not, either.

        Mata for 15 + Jeffren or 20, in a heartbeat. Willian for 5-10, obvious yes, shouldn’t even stop to think about it. Rossi for 25, he has a proven track record so go for it. Yet we are still in the hunt for He Who Is Not worth 50M soon to be He Who is not Worth 60M by the time of Pozzo’s next presser.

        You’re right, the puzzle pieces fit together just fine. All we need is depth and a few impact subs. Done and away for under 45M sounds great to me. Wish Rosell was listening to you 🙂
        (although part of me still wants Cesc, not because we need him but just to stop the constant speculation 😈 )

  4. Dave
    June 24, 2011

    On the whole Sanchez thing, it is madness to pay any more that 35 mil. I’ve being an advocate of Mata for a long time. If he can be got for 25mil, great business- forget Rossi, forget Sanchez. I don’t blame any club wanting to get the best price but there are limitations and what we are seeing with Udinese is a moving of the goalposts. We should send a message to Wheeler dealers like these Italians, that will not be bullied. That said, it has to be remembered that Rosell etc should not insult any team with ridiculous bids. Don’t declare interest unless serious and whatever they may think,27 mill for Cesc is laughable.

  5. Dave
    June 24, 2011

    *’if he can be got’- desperate use of English,that makes Rooney look like a Pulitzer winner

  6. jsfrancis
    June 24, 2011

    If the player wants to choose the specific club to play for, then he can let his contract run down and move on a free. No one forced him to sign a the original contract, he choose to do so in order to guarantee a wage over a number of years. If Sanchez wants to come to Barca, then he can simply let his contract run out and move then. Udinese has every morel right to make the best deal for itself. All the moral outcry about player rights sounds a lot like arrogance – Barca doesn’t exist in a world apart from every other club in the sport.

    As for Fabregas, for the sake of argument (and easy math) if you figure Barca are willing to pay 36m euros and the player has four years left on his contract, I think Arsenal might be willing to pay 9m a season to have a player of his caliber in the squad. Plus his value is going to barely drop until he has one year left, so if they keep him for two years and then sell him for say 30m, that’s not a big loss to keep him in the squad. If Barca want him (or Sanchez or any other player) the clubs need to agree on an amount that works for both sides. If they can’t agree, move on, but stop all this poor Cesc/Sanchez, he can’t come play for Barca because his club won’t see him below market-value.

    • June 24, 2011

      It isn’t arrogance. To put it in personal terms, if two employers were vying for your services, and one you really wanted to go to and one you didn’t want to go to at all, but your current employer wanted to send you to the one that you didn’t want to go to, how would you feel? How would any of us feel? I wouldn’t feel very good, or that my employer had my best interests at heart.

      It isn’t just Barca here, and unscrupulous business dealings aren’t moral by any standard. If the price started at “50m and not a penny less,” that’s one thing. But it’s migrated. And that is, frankly, immoral. Yes, a club can ask for what it wants, but I’m silly in viewing players as human beings. “City bid more, so go there and shut up,” isn’t how I think Mancini wants a player to come to his club.

      Further, nobody is saying “poor Cesc/Sanchez.” I don’t want Fabregas to come for any price. My views on that have been clear since this nonsense all started.

      But “market value” is defined by the buying club as well as the selling club. So is “below market value.” If the selling club says a player has a valuation that nobody in their right mind will meet, then the club either doesn’t want to sell, or overvalues the player in that club’s particular context.

      And if, because of that valuation the player stays, that’s fine as well and in the case of both Fabregas and Sanchez, is fine by me.

      Players, I think, hope to get something for their clubs. But they also get a percentage of the transfer fee, so it’s in their best interest to see a deal brokered that nets a big fee, and enables them to go to the club they’d like. Which is why sitting it out, then leaving on a free isn’t always the best option for a player.

      • ciaran
        June 24, 2011

        If I was an Arsenal fan, rather than being annoyed at Barca consistently trying to buy Cesc, I’d be pissed at Cesc not saying, ‘I have a contract come talk to me in 4 years time.’
        With Sanchez, he clearly wants to leave and Udinese want to sell. Simply, either reject Barca’s offer and tell us to move on and only accept Man City’s offer and let Sanchez choose City or stay

        • June 24, 2011

          That’s the thing – too many Arsenal fans are blaming Barcelona for Fabergas’ actions and desires.

          That’s why this whole “unsettling” argument always comes up which seems to treat Fabergas as if he were a child rather than an adult who makes his own decisions.

          The reaction in England of Modric and Chelsea compared to Fabergas and Barca has been astonishing.

          Don’t see all of the columns and outrage about Chelsea “tapping” up and “unsettling” and “turning Modric’s head” in the papers every day.

          It’s not Chelsea’s fault Modric wants to leave. Modric is an adult who is making his own decisions.

      • jsfrancis
        June 24, 2011

        Of course I wouldn’t feel my employer had my best interests at heart, but I see no reason why he should place my interests over his own. And if I had essentially traded my ability to self-determine my exact place of employment for the next three years in exchange for the security of a salary regardless of how well I performed at my job or if I spent the next three years out with an illness, I would have no place to complain from.

        I don’t see what is unscrupulous about Udinese’s dealings with Sanchez. They’ve openly placed him up for auction, (and the prices you mention as once agreed were never sourced) and if they receive one bid that meets their requirements, they’ll accept one bid, if two, they’ll accept two, etc. Then, it’s up to the player to agree terms. Udinese have a moral right to only accept bids it determines are in the best interest of the club and Sanchez has the right to refuse to go to a club he does not want to play for. But both parties have to agree.

        The issue has nothing to do with players being viewed as human beings; Sanchez’s ability to do as he pleases is only affected by a previous decision Sanchez freely entered into.

        Re: market value – the phrase in this sport is complicated by the player needing to agree to a new contract with the buying club, thus if Cesc only wants to go to Barca for 30m but Inter offer 35m, I’d say his market value is 35m and Barca was offering below market value. Of course, if Arsenal value Cesc at 40m then they’re valuing him above market value. Anyway, it all complicated by the player’s wishes.

        Above all, I do agree that it is best if club and player can find a way to align their interests, but if not, I don’t see why the player is freed from downside of signing a long-term contract.

        I just don’t see why it’s immoral to hold someone accountable to a contract he freely entered into.

    • June 24, 2011

      That’s not entirely how the system works with players like Sanchez. This is not only a matter of contract law.

      A major reason why players like Sanchez even sign those contracts is so that they can “give” the clubs that signed them “something back” when they leave. They know that selling is the life blood of the club that gave them a chance.

      They intentionally sign those contracts in part knowing that they will leave. They want the club to make money on their transfer. They are of course looking for financial security – but the length of the deals is often to provide their team a way to fund themselves.

      Now that may be a ridiculous system but that’s how the industry operates. It’s a bizarre but that’s how it functions.

      And for players like Sanchez there is generally a tacit agreement that the clubs will let them go under reasonable circumstance and offers. That’s the club’s part of the bargain. Again – it’s bizarre but that’s how it is.

      On Fabergas – that’s a very different situation. He signed an ridiculously long extension with a major club and that’s on him. He did that for money. And now he’s unhappy and wants to leave.

      Regarding market value – market value is not simply established by the seller. It’s just not.

      If Arsenal don’t want to sell him for what Barca wants to pay – that’s fine. It’s just business and they could not agree on his market value. There’s nothing disrespectful about either side or any other emotional factors.

      Fabergas is a player whose “market value” is extremely difficult to establish – largely because he simply doesn’t play much. Over the past three seasons he’s played in something like 55%, 60%, and 55% of all possible minutes. He just doesn’t play. And it’s not one season – it’s three.

      And finally it’s always difficult to establish what the market value is for an ill liquid asset. And that’s what Fabergas is. He will only go to one team. There is no “market” for him. There is one buyer.

      So if Arsenal do decide to sell there simply there isn’t going to be massive demand for Fabergas – he’s just not going to allow it to develop.

      Again – Arsenal doesn’t have to sell in any way. And I personally don’t want to see him come to Barca at the prices being discussed. Barca don’t need him right now.

      So ultimately all of the decision are up to Arsenal. They have to decide what to do with a captain who clearly has hesitance about playing for the team he is supposed to lead and who is rarely on the pitch.

      In terms of game play – Fabergas has a major downside for Arsenal. So much of the current system is built around him (and the interchange between him and van Persie’s movement) that when he’s hurt Arsenal has trouble adjusting. This is a major reason why Arsenal haven’t won a trophy for so long. The system is not robust enough because it’s crafted around Fabergas and van Persie and neither can stay on the pitch.

      Fabergas and van Persie are wonderful players. But their skill sets are just so difficult to replace. In some ways van Persie is harder to replace than Fabergas.

      But ultimately this is completely Arsenal’s decision. They have to sort out what they want to do.

      That said – if they do decide to sell, I think Fabergas will return less than what many are thinking his “market” worth is.

      But we’ll see. As I said – I don’t want to see him bought as it is.

      • jsfrancis
        June 24, 2011

        Market value is what Cesc would be worth is Arsenal placed him up for sale in an open market. Now, the market is not open because Cesc’s desire to move to Barca has distorted the market, but his true market value is independent of that fact, and any sale price to Barca will probably be for below his true market value.

        • June 24, 2011

          The market value is what a player sells for. Debates about whether that is high or low are just folks like us nattering. If Sanchez sells for Pozzo’s stated 50m valuation, then that is his market value. Simple as that.

          Same would be true of Fabregas, as “market value” is one team saying it’s this, the other team saying it’s that, then you try to find a happy medium, with the flex point being whether other teams are in the running, player wishes, etc.

          • June 24, 2011

            Nope. For me, the value is what something sells for. It keeps things simple. Was Afellay’s “real” market value higher than the 3M we paid for him? No, because he sold for 3M. Will his market value be higher after a couple good seasons with us? Absolutely maybe.

          • jsfrancis
            June 24, 2011

            You’re speaking of market price, not market value, and that’s causing us to speak past one another on the subject. The two are not always equivalent, although they can be.

            “Market value is a concept distinct from market price, which is “the price at which one can transact”, while market value is “the true underlying value” according to theoretical standards” – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Market_value

        • June 24, 2011

          the market is not open because Cesc’s desire to move to Barca has distorted the market, but his true market value is independent of that fact,

          This is simply not true in any way. Look at the recent financial disaster.

          Cesc himself has crippled his market value. He is not a liquid asset. That’s on him.

          He has made it so that there is only one buyer possible. Which really hurts Arsenal because usual market dynamics don’t apply.

          Supposedly Milan is interested in Cesc. Their offer is irrelevant because he will not go there.

          This happens in other industries all the time. Market value is not an abstraction. It’s not theoretical. It’s not what he “would be” worth.

          This is Cesc’s fault. He has seriously limited what his value will be on market because he is forcing Arsenal to deal with one buyer. He is not letting demand build for him.

          Say the someone in China is willing to buy a military jet fighter for 500M from Boeing in the US. Does that set the jet’s “market value?” No. Because Boeing can’t sell to that customer. It’s not any kind of true demand. And that’s because regulation limits demand. That’s just the way it is.

          Again – this is Cesc. He has forced Arsenal into a horrible position.

          I agree – if he could really be put on a truly open market where Milan, Madrid and City could bid on him – he’s be worth a great deal.

          But that’s not the situation he has allowed.

          You are arguing as if a theoretical bid from City influences his “market value.” It doesn’t. They are not a viable buyer.

          Anytime you have one buyer you are not going to get as much as you think.

          Cesc’s desire to move to Barca hasn’t “distored” his market value. It has limited the parameters for his market value.

          • jsfrancis
            June 24, 2011

            You’re confusing “market price” with “market value.” Cesc’s market price is lower than his market value.

          • June 24, 2011

            I’m not confusing anything. You are trying to draw distinctions without a difference.

            The point is that the transfer “market” is not some true market where you have thousands of buyers and sellers defining price and value. It’s not rational.

            So if you’re team captain is goading you into selling him to only one buyer that completely defines what his “market value” is.

            There’s only one buyer. There is no other source of demand.

            Cesc may be of more value to arsenal if they kept him but that’s the problem. The captain of the team doesn’t really want to stay. And now he’s looking to Barca to get him out of a situation he himself created.

            There’s no confusion here. There’s only one buyer.

            The only confusion is with Fabergas. He’s created a mess for both clubs.

          • June 24, 2011

            By definition, “market value” exists in a rational market.

            I know the concepts. Believe me. I don’t need a wikipedia reference to explain to be a subject that there are entire books written about.

            But the transfer market is not even close to rational. That’s the point.

            You’re trying to make it out as if the transfer market were perfectly efficient.

            It’s not even remotely close. It’s completely distorted. This is not like the the currency market with tens of millions of buyers and sellers.

            And with Cesc this isn’t even a market. There is one buyer. It’s completely distorted.

            To say that Fabergas has a “market value” that is outside of his “market price” is a pure abstraction.

            Fabergas has made it such that no market can develop around him. This has completely hamstrung Arsenal.

            There’s a price Barca will pay. Arsenal can’t argue that it’s not his true “market value” so “pay up” because we’re not talking about an efficient market in any way. That’s my point.

            You cannot have an efficient market with one buyer. Fabergas has created that exact situation.

            There’s a price that buyer will offer and a price the seller will sell at. If they can agree then that’s the price. But he has no “market value” outside of that. His market is one team.

            Arsenal is completely within it’s rights to decide that the offered price is not sufficient but then they have to live with the repercussions.

            As long as they are willing to deal with having a captain who wants away then they don’t have to sell him for a cent less than they want.

            But this entire situation is driven by the fact that Fabergas has limited his market to one buyer and in those situations you can’t argue that that the price doesn’t reflect his value because the market is not efficient and can’t be made efficient unless Arsenal can convince Fabergas to go to many possible teams. Which isn’t happening.

            It’s a bad situation for Arsenal. But that is Fabergas’ fault. Not Barca’s.

            Fabergas has reduced his potential value to the price Barca is willing to pay. He did that.

            I’m amazed by how little responsibility Fabergas ever has to take for any of his actions.

            He expects everyone else to fix his problems and react to his wants.

          • jsfrancis
            June 24, 2011

            I am not in any way trying to claim the transfer market is rational, but exactly the opposite (which we agree on). I’m taking issue with your claim that Cesc has no market value outside the parameters of the current distorted market.

            You say: “To say that Fabergas has a “market value” that is outside of his “market price” is a pure abstraction.”

            Of course it is an abstraction, that’s my entire point. Fabregas’s market value exists as a theoretical concept independent of the price in this distorted market. Thus, due to the player’s desire to only play for Barcelona, his transfer price, and thus his “market price,” will most likely be at a lower number than his “market value.”

            Anyway, we’re just going in circles, and I can’t even really remember how this started. For the record, I’m not an Arsenal fan. 🙂

            Cheers.

          • privateeye
            June 25, 2011

            Your point that Cesc has forced Rsenal’s hand is right. This ot against what you say.

            Arsenal can actually solve this problem by living it out for a year.

            If they win anything tangible this year then Cesc’s value will go up(unless due to injury it is unlikey Cesc will look useless) and his inclination to return to Barca will be weaker. Right now Arsenal compared to Barca have only one thing to hold on to Cesc and that is emototional appeal(faithfulness etc.. and it is very surprising that he actually seems to be influenced by it). If they do win someting then they add to this bond making it more difficult to prise him away.

            If they dont it actually seems beneficial to Barca but I think this is not true. If they dont win anything he will want to move whether it is Barca Madrid Mancity ot Manunited. Which means there will be an open auction and barca loses out completely.

            So all in all it would be better for Arsenal to just wait.

          • privateeye
            June 25, 2011

            Continuing, this rather strange situation is brought about by Cesc’s rather curious behaviour.

            1)Cesc is a Barca youth product who moves from Barca to Arsenal in 2003, who offer him first team football(apparently – my guess is different).

            2)He spends almost 8 years there and winning practically nothing in the last 6 years. But he is acclaimed as a great midfielder who is peaking.

            3)He doesnt do much in asking to move to some other club. Why woudlnt any good footballer want to win? 6 years is half his life as a creative footballer

            4)He courts controversy regarding only a move to Barca. Even here he s not aggressive. Even when barca is his boyhood club. Even when Barca have won three Champions league titles in his absence and his youth team mates have gone on to be acclaimed as part of one of the geatest teams in all of football. An he has nothing to show meanwhile.

            He could/should have demanded a transfer in 2009,2010,2011 to Barca or anywhere. He still does nothing. The only possible explanations I can think of are:

            1) Both Wenger and him know he will eventually return to Barca and they only disagree on when or mybe not even that.
            2)He has a bond to Wenger/Arsenal which he will not disrespect(Which has been encashed for too long by Wenger). But he obviously has a bond to Barca. This has the makings of an epic story of torn love.
            3)Or he is a clueless moron with an equally clueless moron as an agent.

            PS : Sorry if rant is out of place

  7. flyzowee
    June 24, 2011

    Im not really a fan of what im about to say but as much as players are human, they are more importantly ( to the clubs ) Assests….

    Not all clubs can accomodate the luxury of factoring in the players wishes in transfer deals.

    In fact such considerations almost always result in some kind of loss here or there to the selling club depending on the offers on the table….

    Look at us we have the camp nou packed, we are an elite club etc.

    Udinese cant even fill their 17000 capacity stadium.
    Transfers have and will probably be the only reason why they might continue to remain a top tier club.

    Pozzo is right.
    Honouring player interests is/should not be his priority unless the player forces his hand.

    It matters not if they bought him for just 2million.

    Whos to say that udinese did not forsee such a rise in the players stock at the time of purchase?

    Sanchez’ initial cost doesnt place Udinese under any moral obligation to sell at what is perceived to be reasonable prices…

    By and by, how come no one uses this excuse with arsenal.

    They make profits every year. Fabregas wants to come and arsenal would make crazy profit from our 35mill if u consider what they paid to get him……and yet still arsenal insist on getting maximum paper for him.

    So tell me how then can we now frown upon udinese and pozzo who have a far greater need for the money.

    Strictly speaking there is no room for sentiments at clubs like udinese where their bread and butter is made from transfers
    of this sort.

    Sanchez will only come when udinese are satisfied and given what city are offering, i dont think anyone can complain about the delay IMO.

    • June 24, 2011

      If selling teams forced young players to play on teams against their will the entire football industry would collapse.

      If selling teams like Udinese did this as their “right” because they own the player then what would happen is that young players would stop signing long contracts and they would just leave on a free. They would feel that they could not trust the team at all to look after even part of their interests.

      And that would bankrupt small teams like Udinese.

      This is not as simple as pure contract law or the interests of only one party.

      The industry is structured and depends on some kind of equilibrium in which all the parties involved have some of their interest met. It depends on some modicum of trust that operates outside of contract law.

      If Udinese strong arms Sanchez to city it will be interesting to see how that impacts how all of their other young players feel and behave. Personally, if I saw them do that to a star I would take that as a very bad sign and not trust them much at all.

      • June 24, 2011

        Euler expresses my views pretty perfectly, but one point: Udinese isn’t under any moral obligation at all to sell Sanchez for any price that anyone except they deem reasonable. But that number shouldn’t be a moving target. That isn’t dealing in good faith, and it doesn’t take long for a selling club to becomes less of one, as buying clubs become increasingly disinclined to deal with it. That, too, is a dictate of the market.

        Euler’s point about them forcing Sanchez to Citeh is a good one, as well.

        And nobody has talked about Jeffren and Krkic, whom I also mentioned in my “player interests” notion. There it’s an even more difficult balance, because the player wants to go to a certain club, which might or might not want him, based on the quality of their play. So the club often has to take what it gets in that regard.

        I look at Afellay as an excellent example of a player wanting to get something for his club. He could have waited until the summer, then left. But we did the deal in the winter window. to get some money for PSV. Good deal.

        This isn’t about Barca vs anyone. Such notions are misguided. Yes, this is a Barca-centric blog, but note that Isaiah is of the view that Udinese should be able to do what they like. I have a different view.

        • jsfrancis
          June 24, 2011

          “But that number shouldn’t be a moving target. That isn’t dealing in good faith, and it doesn’t take long for a selling club to becomes less of one, as buying clubs become increasingly disinclined to deal with it.”

          Are you speaking of the time during the “auction” process, or after a deal has been informally agreed to? Because while I think that once a deal has been agreed, even if not finalized, to renege due to changing circumstances or a higher bid shows poor ethics, while still engaged in negotiations, a significant change in the landscape, for example, City offering above asking price, should result in a re-calculation of the seller’s negotiating stance.

          • June 24, 2011

            During the auction process. It’s kind of like changing the reserve price mid-process during an EBay auction. “Reserve is $1000 …. no, wait …. it’s $2000. Didn’t realize folks wanted this so much.”

          • jsfrancis
            June 24, 2011

            Not really, because the reserve only commits you to sell to the highest bid in excess of the set reserve price. Which in this example would be City.

          • June 24, 2011

            But the reserve price changes the minimum bid. An auction with a reserve price of $1000 means you bid at $1010. Changing the reserve to $2000 means your $1010 bid doesn’t meet the reserve.

          • jsfrancis
            June 24, 2011

            Okay, but that’s not what’s happening. To relate it to the Sanchez transfer, the reserve price has not been changed to 50m or whatever target price is at currently. The reserve, which is usually unknown during the auction, is more likely around 30m-35m. What’s happening now is simply a bidding process between City and Barca, with Sanchez’s willingness to go to the respective club influencing the price required by each specific club.

  8. 90sbaby
    June 24, 2011

    I think both Neymar and Sanchez are special talents, Neymar it’s obvious is still a boy, Rossi on the other hand is a good player but does he command a starting position over Pedro?

    Regards to Sanchez Barcelona need to stop being cheap and meet the players evaluation even if that means paying an extra 5/10 mill they don’t want.

    • Vj
      June 24, 2011

      Stop being cheap

      We have a President named RoSELL. I rest my case..

    • June 24, 2011

      “Cheap” and “cognizant of needs and the market” are two very different things. Barca doesn’t need Sanchez. The recently concluded Champions League final should make that very clear, even to Pozzo. 😀

      The question becomes whether a club is willing to meet a valuation that it deems excessive. It’s no different than a hot car coming out, and dealers charging above sticker price, because they can.

      But the problem is when you show up, prepared to pay $10,000 over sticker, but the price is now $20,000 over sticker.

    • Ryan
      June 24, 2011

      But that evaluation keeps rising; how do we meet an ever-increasing target?

      I think Rossi would supplant Pedro after the adjustment stage. Pedro is such a good player to have on the bench, although either way would be exciting as a possible game changer. Just go look at how Rossi saved Italy vs. the USA in 2009 Confederations Cup. Come off the bench and scored twice!

  9. June 24, 2011

    – I think you are reading too much in the “he said, we said” stuff.

    There could be many reasons for why someone say something. Is it possible that Pozzo is saying “he worth 50 M” so that when he sell for much less than that he says “We did it because thats where he felt he’ll be happy”? Remember his club scout young talents and thats not a bad way to promote “come to udinese kids” message. A long shot, but who knows.

    The bottom of line is: There will be no deal with any club unless the buyer, the seller, AND the player agrees. So at the end of the day it all balance each other.

    Pozzo has the right to get the most out of the transfer. Period. How much is “the most”? It depends on many things, including the player desire. But if Man city ended up giving him a salary that make him willing to compromise – fair enough.

    What if it all collapse? No one can claim being treated unfairly. Not even the player. After all he is committed to a contract he signed willingly and without putting a condition that forces the club to sell him if and if.

    Lets not forget that Udinese made the highest risk when they signed them in the first place then sent him from one team to another to develop before joining their club where nothing was certain. That also worth noting. Most of the risks end up disappointing when it come to youth, so to keep the system going you need to earn the most possible from the ones that work.

    Really. Lets take it ease and watch the scene:) None of us really know what is happening, which is -guaranteed- nothing close to what we read.

    • June 24, 2011

      Exactly. For every Messi, there’s a Krkic. For every Neymar, there’s a Keirrison. Heck, we don’t even know if Neymar is Neymar yet. Robinho was supposed to be so much more than what he wound up being.

      The Silly Season is for debate and discussion. The club has its own plans, and nobody really cares what we think. These discussions pass the time.

      Hell, I don’t even care about the price that Udinese sets. I just want them to set it and leave it. 😀

  10. flyzowee
    June 24, 2011

    I agree with you euler and im sure pozzo wouldnt be as stubborn if sanchez was forcing his hand.

    Right now a lot of the argument is based on assumptions, but as far as ive heard sanchez like fabregas has chosen to hold his tongue in order to give their clubs some leverage in the transfer.

    Im still not convinced by Sanchez’ intentions. I wouldnt base much on his promise to his dad.
    Money can turn heads.

    So untill he lays it out in black and white, i wouldnt be so quick to predict a negative backlash from the clubs younger players.

    As it stands, no one truly knows what he wants despite reports in our favour.

    If he goes to city and claims it was always his intention ( he would most likely do this ) then the equilibrum that you talk of between udinese and its players would be duly maintained without trouble

    The opposite might happen if he ends up staying in udinese but these are calculated risks that pozzo feels are worth taking………. So we just have to wait and see.

  11. June 24, 2011

    I have a question: Did Sanchez come out in a press conference and say I want Barcelona and nothing else?

    If so, then i agree with Kxevin and Euler to a certain extent. If no such things have been made, and its all stories about promises to his dying father, then I’m with Isaiah on this one. Hundreds of players dream of playing for Barca, but not all get to play there.

    If a player wants to come to a club, there are concessions that he can make to allow the deal to work. Di Maria accepted half the wages he was earning at Benfica to save Madrid some money. He get 1.9 m a year, as opposed to Ozil, who gets 4.2 m. If its 2 m that is making the difference, then that can be dealt with in wages. The player can get 1.5 for example, with a promise of a raise after one season. Money saved on wages goes into transfer fee.

    Excuse my ill knowledge of the Sanchez manner. All i follow of the story is Kevin and Ramzi on twitter. And Kevin is a real roller coaster about the whole idea. With that said, Willian seems like a great catch if you guys get him. Especially since you seem “toner” poor.

    • June 24, 2011

      No, no roller coaster here. Talented, but unproven. 20m is what I would pay for him, take it or leave it. And Fabregas is no, period.

      If we believe what we hear (and we don’t, but it’s debate fodder now, isn’t it?), the player is willing to take less money to come to Barca, and I don’t know if anyone would make up a story about the dude’s dead father figure.

      So prima facie, we have a club who wants the highest bid, a player who wants a particular team, and said team is unwilling to match the club’s valuation. Now all three parties have to decide what’s next. This reminds me of the Villa transfer a little bit, in the prolonged process.

      • June 24, 2011

        I agree that 40 m for half a good season and potential is not a lot. But then again, the way the english market is working now, 40 m is a catch.

        If the deal is about to break down because of the valuation, then Sanchez can tell the club accept it or else. As you said many times before, and something that i agree with you fully on, if you want to go somewhere, a simple “I want to go there and only there” will end it all. Because then its public, and it makes sure that other clubs know whats up.

        And just a thought: Isn’t Rossi (30) + Willian (10) better than just Sanchez for (38)? Especially if the financial situation is as bad as it is at the moment?

    • Jnice
      June 24, 2011

      It’s simple, if Sanchez didn’t want to go to Barcelona over City, he would be a Manchester City player already. They offered 40m cash plus 5 bonuses. Why do you think that deal hasn’t gone through yet?

      Sanchez hasn’t come out in a press conference and said anything, but it’s clear what his preference is. Everyone knows that he will be getting lower wages at Barcelona than at City. Even the coach of the Chilean national team has admitted that he’s spoken with Alexis and he told him he wants to come to Barcelona over anyone else.

      • June 24, 2011

        True, he would have been at City. But could he possibly be playing City as the back up option in case Barca dont pay up? Most players would rather go to Barca than Man City, and the wages at Man City are always going to be higher, but that doesn’t make them an impossible option. Otherwise, they wouldn’t still be in the picture. They would have followed other targets.

        • Jnice
          June 24, 2011

          I don’t understand what you’re saying.

          They wouldn’t still be in the picture? Why? Pozzo is the one who decides what bids will be accepted not Sanchez.

          City are still in the picture because they know their offer is the one Udinese want to accept. There’s a chance Udinese could reject Barça’s offer and say Alexis either go to City or stay at Udinese. Anything could happen then, which is why City are still in for him.

          • June 24, 2011

            If it’s clear that Sanchez doesn’t want to sign for city, then city would concentrate on a different transfer target. Not waste time bidding for him over and over again.

            As ramzi seems to point out down, there has been talk that Sanchez wants to go to barca, but again, who wouldn’t?

            But is it possible that Sanchez said: barca number 1, and if all else fails, then city is fine?

            Because that makes sense. Since city keep bidding. Yes they are stupid, but not that stupid to keep going after a target that doesn’t want to go to their club at all.

            (sorry for the earlier disjointed comment, posting from my phone).

    • June 24, 2011

      Bassam,

      This is a question about what’s a reasonable inference to draw during silly season.

      Sanchez has not definitely come out and said anything. He’s not talking. Which is good. That’s the right thing for the player to do in most cases.

      But there is enormous amounts of corroborating evidence supporting the idea that he wants to play for Barca and has made this clear.

      Multiple different reporters and newspapers in Chile have reported that Sanchez has told his teammates on the Chilean NT that he is going to Barca.

      Multiple reporters have said that Sanchez will only play for Barca and that he has wanted this for a long time.

      There are long editorials being written in Chile right now about how Sanchez has made it very clear to Udinese what his wishes are.

      This isn’t Sport or MD. It’s sources in Chile.

      When asked about this entire situation Sanchez managers at the Chilean NT said that he advised Sanchez to play for Barca. There is no way an NT manager (especially a new one hired under controversial circumstances) is going to say anything like that about his star player without knowing what the player wants.

      There’s also been long standing reports that Bielsa highly recommended Sanchez to Barca – and there have been no stories connecting him to any of Sanchez’s other suitors.

      On top of all this it’s been reported in multiple places that City has offered more money on the transfer and 25-30% more in salary. Despite that – a deal isn’t done with City.

      So given what we can infer it seems high likely (though not definitive) that Sanchez wants to play at Barca and pretty much Barca alone.

      Has Kun said he wants to play at RM as his first choice? No. Am I confident that this is what he wants? Fairly confident.

      Sanchez is even more so as there have been so many leaks and stories out of Chile.

    • June 24, 2011

      Pina -udinese’s president mentioned that they received higher bids, but Sanchez wants Barcelona.

      now its not the player who said it publicly, but I cant see a reason for Pina to say so if it was otherwise

  12. June 24, 2011

    Boooooooo!

    “Bulls trade up in NBA draft for Real Madrid forward – Chicago Tribune / sports / basketball – story.”

  13. Jnice
    June 24, 2011

    To expand on what I said earlier, Graham Hunter was on TalkSport earlier today, regarding Barça and Cesc, he basically said:

    – Bartomeu has been given the task to negotiate with Arsenal leaders over Cesc.

    – A year ago Laporta boasted about how they would take Cesc and splash last of the cash.

    – Rosell came in and said stop, that’s not how we do things. We haven’t behaved with dignity. Made an offer kept it quiet.

    – Rosell comes out clearly says there is a limit, Bartomeu bids lower. Barça is going about this in a professional manner. Bid will be raised most likely.

    – Desire from both Barça and Fab and he thinks it’ll happen.

    So later on the show, Darren Lewis, writer for The Mirror who was co-hosting the program, says that he disagrees with Graham that we’ve behaved well this season. He goes on to say:

    – Barcelona spent the last 36 months destabilizing Cesc and now we’re moving in for kill. Our work is basically done.

    – Says you can’t keep a player who doesn’t want to be there. So basically it is our fault for Cesc wanting to leave.

    – 27m pounds absolute joke.

    And finally, “Villa come out today and said he should come along with Sanchez because they’re going to be great players for us, for goodness sake this club has no respect for other football clubs, Barcelona’s work has already been done.”

    His last bit really annoys me for two reasons:

    1. Being a writer for The Mirror, he is one of the people in the British press directly responsible for giving up such a bad reputation when it comes to this Cesc saga with all of their fake interviews and statements from our players.

    2. He knows damn well that Villa did not come out of nowhere and say “BRING ME CESC AND SANCHEZ.” He was asked a question as they are fond to do in Spain regarding the two players and other transfer targets, and he simply answered the question.

    I’m sick of Arsenal and everyone associated with them playing the victim. Enough already.

    • June 24, 2011

      Again, the comparison with the reaction to Modric and Chelsea is just ridiculous.

      But Chelsea is a proper english team so their behavior is perfectly ethical. No turning heads or tapping up there.

      Just as it was when Chelsea signed Torres.

      They make it out as if “tapping up” wasn’t just standard practice in the industry.

      Ferguson is lauded over there for how he skillfully handles delicate transfers. I’m sure he never spoke to Phil Jones before triggering his release clause. I’m sure Liverpool didn’t either. Jones was never officially put on the market.

      I’m sure Arsenal has not had any conversations with Christopher Samba and Eden Hazard either.

      It’s just another form of “blame the foreigner” that goes on so often there as standard practice.

      • Jnice
        June 24, 2011

        Ferguson is lauded over there for how he skillfully handles delicate transfers. I’m sure he never spoke to Phil Jones before triggering his release clause. I’m sure Liverpool didn’t either. Jones was never officially put on the market.

        Exactly.

        And regarding Phil Jones, everyone acknowledges Wenger spoke with him the night before he decided to go to United.

        The hypocrisy and double standard is beyond belief.

        • June 24, 2011

          I forgot about that. Wenger himself did try to “convince” Jones to play for Arsenal.

          But tapping up there was fine. In fact it’s what Arsenal was expected to do. “Fight” for their player. Be “brave.”

  14. flyzowee
    June 24, 2011

    @ Jnice

    I stand to be corrected, but i believe the Chilean coach only ‘advised’ Sanchez to go to Barca. I didnt hear anything about Sanchez informing said coach about his preferences

    Im not trying to convince anyone that he wants to go to city.

    But its entirely possible that he would settle and probably wouldnt mind playing for city if he does not get barca….

    This would explain why pozzo is so desparate to price us out of the transfer…

    Things are not as clear as you put them and with the facts unknown anything is possible..

    • Jnice
      June 24, 2011

      You might be right, but I thought the coach also said that Sanchez wanted to play with Messi, etc.

      It’s not impossible that he would settle for City, that’s not what I’m saying. All I’m saying is it’s pretty obvious he prefers us to any other club in for him right now.

      • Jnice
        June 24, 2011

        I said so here:

        City are still in the picture because they know their offer is the one Udinese want to accept. There’s a chance Udinese could reject Barça’s offer and say Alexis either go to City or stay at Udinese. Anything could happen then, which is why City are still in for him.

        Anything could happen meaning, Sanchez could decide to go to City because a move to Barcelona is not possible due to Udinese accepting City’s offer and rejecting Barça’s. Whilst Udinese is still considering both offers, Sanchez’s first choice will continue to be Barça.

        • June 24, 2011

          The main reason why City will always continue to be engaged is due to their liquidity.

          Cash is not an issue for them in any way.

          Other teams have a fixed amount that has to be spent. As such there’s significant opportunity cost associated with them waiting on a player.

          But opportunity cost due to using cash is completely secondary to City.

          If they decide to go ahead and buy Mata or Hulk or Rossi now – it will have no impact on their ability to buy Sanchez at the end of the summer. They’ll just get more cash.

          That’s what Udinese is counting on. They are essentially trying to drive the opportunity cost of doing the deal up for Barca.

          They know that if they keep dragging this out eventually Barca will have to move on and allocate their resources to another player. Once those resources are gone Barca cannot get back into the Sanchez market.

          City on the other hand can always jump back in. They have had no qualms about making redundant purchases.

          That way they can go back to Sanchez and say, too bad, Barca’s offer is off the table. You need to go to City.

          That’s why this is really a staring contest between Udinese and Sanchez.

          If deal doesn’t get done before the Copa then that suggests Udinese feels that it can force Sanchez to go to City.

          That’s what this is all about. They must feel that he really wants to leave and will accept City if all of his other options are taken away.

          The key is the Copa date. If that comes and goes then Udinese are just trying to force him to City.

  15. June 24, 2011

    All this is good and whatnot but….have you ever flirted w/ a girl and maybe spent a bit of quality time w/ her, then she up and left. You sit there wondering the could have beens, and focus totally on that girl for a while. Barca went on a date w/ Sanchez and allowed themselves to be clouded by the ‘what could be’…thats why this posturing by Undesee is smart. No we wont pay 50, but we will prolly pay a total of 40-45 including variables.

    Sub girl for guy if you happen to be a woman*

  16. June 24, 2011

    Also, if he goes to city for 50 so be it. He will only feature in like 15-20 games and hand in a transfer request next summer, allowing us to get hin for 25M!!!!

  17. blitzen
    June 24, 2011

    Apparently RM’s brand spanking new signing Hamit Altintop has a back injury that will require surgery and keep him out of action for 3-4 months.

    Now, I would never wish injury on any player, but I can’t help but find it funny that RM’s medical staff failed to diagnose his back issues, which he had last season as well. Maybe it’s a good thing that Barça is taking their time about signings….

    • Vj
      June 25, 2011

      Maybe they don’t care about it now? There are 17 million (maybe more) players can play for EE in midfield. If a squad player who is really going to be used at the end of the season is injured till Sept/Oct. it doesn’t matter much..

  18. Jnice
    June 24, 2011

    Pina’s latest statements make it clear to me we won’t be signing Sanchez. Udinese will drag this on past the start date of the Copa America.

    “We want to allow Alexis Sanchez to join a top club, but we’ll sell to the highest bidder. There are several clubs that have shown interest in Sanchez and maybe one of them offers more than Barcelona. We could allow Barcelona to include players in the deal but even doing that, we’re not getting there.” via barcastuff

    This dude changed up his tone, too. The other day it was, “The deal with Barça is 80% completed,” now it’s “we’re not getting there.”

    Au revoir, Alexis.

    • PhepheSa
      June 24, 2011

      I wanted him to come so bad but now i wish we just move on to our next target. Can’t always get what you want. After all the talk by Rosell about being poor we would look like fools if we overpaid for Sanchez now and other clubs will always take us for a ride.

      Btw, nice discussion guys i’m learning quite a lot from all of you. Keep up the good work.

      • Eklavya
        June 24, 2011

        lol your comment is almost the same as mine.

        • PhepheSa
          June 24, 2011

          Yeah lol

          I guess most cules have reached that stage where it’s all getting too much now. It seems it’s more trouble than it’s worth. I am mentally exhausted and the window hasn’t even opened yet.

    • blitzen
      June 24, 2011

      Yeah, I have to agree. They have set their price too high and there is no way Barça will stump up that much. At this point it looks like their only option is Man City, and it is far from certain that even they want Sanchez that badly, or that Sanchez will agree to go there in any case. I honestly think Udinese has f*cked up their chances of making any deal for Sanchez this year unless they drop their price by a big chunk. Rosell has taken such a hard line that he cannot at this point realistically offer anywhere near what Udinese is asking without looking like a fool.

      It’s just not going to happen. Let’s move on.

  19. Eklavya
    June 24, 2011

    Good discussion going around, nice reading all the comments.

    It does seem like the Sanchez deal won’t happen (a reasonable deal at least), which is sad since I liked Alexis, but I think we should move on and get Rossi.

    • PhepheSa
      June 24, 2011

      It’s gonna be the same thing with Rossi as well. Villareal want 30m cash remember?

  20. June 24, 2011

    This is from the reporter who covers City for the Manchester Evening News (one of the major papers in manchester):

    StuBrennanMEN Stuart Brennan
    @PamelaJuanita i heard today City have still not given up on sanchez
    4 hours ago

    Hulk, mata, etc. may be City’s backup plan but that doesn’t mean they’ll need to given up their primary plan.

    City will be in this all summer long. They can afford to wait – and they are the only club that can do that. Chelsea too I suppose. But that’s it.

    Sanchez is in a touch spot. His only leverage now is going to be telling Udinese and convincing them that he absolutely will not play for City.

    If Udinese think they can force him to City they’ll do it.

    That’s clearly what they are trying to do now. Pina’s complete about face this week suggests that.

    Either a deal gets done at the very last minute before the Copa or it’s off and Barca needs to move on.

    It’s too bad. Moving on means Pozzo and City get exactly what they want.

    If it goes past the Copa Sanchez will need to make this very ugly to get out to a team he wants to.

  21. Jnice
    June 24, 2011

    In other news, Copa del Rey juvenil final between Barcelona and Espanyol is on Sunday at 11:30 am BCN time.

    Should be a fun game. Excited to watch Espinosa, Deulofeu, Rafinha, Dongou and others.

    • June 24, 2011

      Sunday at 11:30 am BCN time.

      Which means 5:30am EST. /bangs head repeatedly on desk.

      • blitzen
        June 24, 2011

        well…my cat makes me up around then every morning anyway to feed her. So maybe I will just stay up and watch the game.

  22. June 24, 2011

    Ah, last thing before I go to bed (must post now, or I’ll forget about tomorrow. I’m silly like that)…Actually, make that two things:

    1) I’m thinking of setting up a new thing where we have a post collecting all the download links of games. I’m not sure if I want to make it on a game-by-game basis or a monthly feature, but I think it’d be nice to have all the links in one place, rather than fishing through the comments looking for Jnice posts. (But he’ll still post them and credit fbtz/pakman so I can steal them later). 😀

    I’ve had this idea in my head for a while (…like five months a while), but have never really got around to asking y’all about it.

    2) More Barca B Coverage. I was hesitant on including this here, since I haven’t actually taken it up with the other mods and it’s exhausting just covering the first team, but I think us following the B-team regularly would be a great idea, especially since they are now in the Segunda. It wouldn’t be anything big, just a liveblog here and there. Maybe a preview and occasional review, but it’s nothing certain. We’d have to balance them with the first team preview/LB/review system amongst other things, so it’s very much an idea in progress (IIP).

    Anyways, on point number 1, I’d like your input since you are the ones downloading the matches. Personally, I’d do a monthly compilation.

    • Nav
      June 24, 2011

      Re: links, can you guys get into trouble for that due to Copyright Infringement?

      • Vj
        June 25, 2011

        You can infringe copyrights if you host said media, not if you only link to said media. I think that’s the basic gist, but I’m no copyright lawyer..

    • June 24, 2011

      yeah sure! would be really nice and convenient to have those links in one place…and probably not just games, but other significant vids related to the match as well..
      a monthly compilation is fine i guess,’cept for clasicos? maybe we could have em in the same week? but anyway, thanks in advance for whatever you’ll come up with…bfb’s sure gonna be extra awesome with it.

      and big yes on the bb’s coverage. have to find them somewhere else before, but to follow them more regularly here would be great.
      if they can’t play in the primera,im sure they’d be please to know that they’ve earned their “spot” in the space of bfb…

  23. can_we_go_Xalvies
    June 25, 2011

    technically we can drag this Sanchez saga till the very last day of the transfer window, the last thing Udinese want is not to sell Sanchez at all this summer. We have the upper hand.

    But in terms of whats best for us, we should focus on the rest of our transfer targets and get them before pre-season, or Gamper match atleast.

      • barca96
        June 25, 2011

        Yeah Olu. You need to stop visiting goal.com. It will always make your blood boil.

        You weren’t like this before.

        @Jnice or anyone who will be following the Juvenil final.
        Dont forget to post the result.

  24. Olufestus
    June 25, 2011

    @JOSE,i think u will have to log on to the E.E blog and see the defective reasoning of some pple “OZIL is better than XAVI,xavi always makes only back passes,so i take a dig @ ’em at any given opportunity!

  25. Neel
    June 25, 2011

    Again articles are getting written about Thiago as a make-weight for Cesc. I do not like this. So far Barca has been patient enough not to end up making a bad deal. I hope it stays like that. I did rather have the same squad eith more youngsters tried over the season, than have Cesc in by swapping Thiago. He is the future. I know Cesc is also sooo young. But, Thiago is here, he has done nothing to deserve such treatment unless his attitude bothers Pep. I ‘d rather prefere purchases in winter than going for untested players for ridiculous prices. Also, Mata’s name is again up. I always thought he could do well for us. But Do not see him adding anything much different from Ibi or P!!!.

  26. barca96
    June 25, 2011

    -Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas is willing to give up his 15% commission on the transfer fee. That money would go to Arsenal. [sport]

    That’s more like it ey? But I do not want Thiago to move!!!

    -NOw that Mata’s name has joined the rumors, who would you guys prefer?
    Mata or Rossi?

    For me it’s Rossi.

    • flyzowee
      June 25, 2011

      Fabregas is giving up 15% cmssn to get out of jail…..
      Thats very brave cesc
      Very manly indeed…

    • June 25, 2011

      If Arsenal demands 40 M + for cesc, reducing it by 15 % will not make a real defference.

      Dont think Mata is a realistic target. Rossi is interesting, but not for 30 M, or else better pay 35 M for Sanchez.In this case, Willian+Forlan is cheaper and much better.

      Or maybe, I’m still hopefull we’ll reach a deal with Pozzo.

  27. June 25, 2011

    Its up to Sanchez now. I think both clubs have made their stance clear. Barca will not raise their final bid and Udinese want to sell to the highest bidder. Lets be clear though, Udinese cannot sell Sanchez without the consent of the player and tbh I think if their was any chance that Sanchez would go to City then he would already be there. He needs to stand firm and hold his ground. It is very similar to the situation with Cesc. You seem to have a player who only wants to go to one club, which makes it very difficult for the selling club to get the most value from the player. The public statements that Pozzo is making reek of desperation. The one about Sanchez being the final piece of the Barca puzzle was particularly pathetic. As if we havent already won it all.

    I am optimistic that if we wait it out a bit then we get our man.

    @barcastuff
    Guardiola called a few days ago with Udinese attacker Alexis Sanchez (22) to discuss his situation and ask him to be patient. [md]

    If this is true then who can really see Sanchez agreeing to go anywhere else, especially City. He must realise that this is a huge turning point in his career, he can either join Barca and be a part of one of the best teams in the history of the game or he can join Man City (who?). If he does accept City in the end then best of luck to him and we sign somebody else, no biggie, we will still continue to conquer the world 😉

    • Jnice
      June 25, 2011

      Guardiola called a few days ago with Udinese attacker Alexis Sanchez (22) to discuss his situation and ask him to be patient. [md]

      Regarding things like this, I sometimes wonder if the club have Messi or someone talk to the player they’re interested in. Surely if Messi called Sanchez and said “I want to play with you, we can form a great partnership” or something like that, it goes a long way into securing a player, no?

      Same thing with Pep calling a player and saying he’s a big part of his plans next season. I wonder if we do this frequently.

      Gab Marcotti said last week that Pep and Xavi spoke to Alexis telling him to come, but I don’t know how much of that Xavi part is true.

      • June 25, 2011

        I think a lot of clubs do this when they are trying to sign players. I have read Mourinho does it a lot and he is the main reason they got Ozil. When you have managers that command that much respect calling you in person to try and win you over it must have an immense impact.

        Can you imagine what it must feel like to have Pep call you up and say that a team like Barca who have players like Messi want to count on you. Thats why I think if it is true and if Pep did call Sanchez and ask him to stick it out we will end up getting him.

        • Humphrey Bogart
          June 25, 2011

          I think Villa once said after the transfer failed for the first time (when we got Ibra then), Pep always kept contact and said that at the end he will be a Barca player

          • blitzen
            June 25, 2011

            Yes, Villa has said several times that Pep kept in contact with him through the 2009-2010 season to reassure him that he was definitely still in his plans.

            And FWIW, Hleb also mentioned that Pep contacted him personally when he was at Arsenal….

          • Neel
            June 25, 2011

            But is it not illegal to do so? Except when a deal is being negotiated and the owning club has officially agreed to allow such communications?

          • blitzen
            June 25, 2011

            Negotiations for Villa were ongoing. From what I understand there was a “gentleman’s agreement” that he would be allowed to leave Valencia in 2010. So nothing illegal there. Same with Hleb, negotiations had already been opened when Pep contacted him.

            I have no idea about the Sanchez situation or whether it is true that Pep spoke to him.

    • June 25, 2011

      Its normal when negotiations reach an advanced stage, the buying club request a permission from the selling club for the coach to contact the player.

      There is a plenty of grey margin though. Players can talk to a transfer target as long as there is no evidence they were instructed by their club to do so. You cant prevent people from talking to each other on personal level and its not even possible -most of the time- to find an evidence that they talked about transfers (may be they called each other to talk about a new movie?), so this is not something you can control.

      • barca96
        June 25, 2011

        About a new movie????
        Yeah why not…

        I bet all Pique, Puyol and Cesc talk about in Ibiza is moc moc and oooh’s.

  28. beeeef
    June 25, 2011

    “Chelsea left back Ashley Cole (30) wants to join Real Madrid or Barcelona and start a new life in Spain with his ex-wife Cheryl. [mirror]”

    via @barcastuff

    one of the best transfer rumors I’ve heard this season

  29. Jnice
    June 25, 2011

    Just a reminder, the U21 final between Spain and Switzerland is in about 30 minutes (2:30 pm ET).

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