Why I Don’t Want Cesc Fabregas

He’s a fantastic footballer. He’s a World Cup winner, captain of a top 10 side in the world, and he already knows the Barça ropes—culturally as well as sportingly—but I want no part of him. There are good arguments that he would add depth to the midfield and attack, a seriously good argument that if the team wants him (true) or needs him (debatable) then now is the time because he can spend Xavi’s waning years learning from the maestro, and a closeness between him and other members of the squad that wouldn’t break apart the dressing room. But I want no part of him.

My reasoning is fairly simple: he left. It was his right to do so, I firmly believe, and I hold nothing against him for that. I’m happy for him that he was able to find success at Arsenal and on the national team and if Torres is worth £50m or Andy Carroll worth £35m, then Cesc is certainly worth €35m.

But he left. He walked away from Barça and, again, that is his right to do so, but it is also our right to say “Okay, good luck, goodbye.” And if he wants to come back, he can come back, but not for a price. Not for more than the fee that was eventually paid for him (you could adjust for inflation if you really want). It was his choice to leave, to play with the Spanish and English laws and disappear for a night. And I cannot stress this enough: that is his right and I do not hold it against him as a person. I probably would have made a similar decision.

It’s just that Barça is a club that trains a lot of players and we cannot set the precedent of buying back those who leave the club when we can do nothing about it (and make no mistake, we could do nothing about it). It is not a question of them being “ours” because they can leave if they want; instead, it is a question of the club’s perspective on who to bring back. Gerard Pique cost €5m too much for me (or that minus whatever the fee we ended up receiving for him was). Yes, that was a great deal in the market and a total flub by Manchester United (unless you buy that Barça youth products can’t play outside of Barça, which I wouldn’t argue too strongly against), but we shouldn’t have done it.

It was also Fabregas’ decision to sign a contract extension rather than wait until his contract expired and choose his suitor. I realize that contract extensions and re-ups in Europe are different than in the United States where free agency rules a lot of the market, but it should have been made clear to him at the time that he wouldn’t be returning to Barça until 2015 if he signed that extension. Would he still have done it? I don’t know—the raise was probably pretty huge and hard to pass up. But that’s his decision.

And it’s not that I think Fabregas betrayed Barça, though perhaps there’s a smidge of that, it’s that others have not done so. Thiago has shown loyalty, Xavi showed loyalty and worked to break into the system rather than leaving for an easier assignment. And if that was the decision he felt he should make for his career, again, all the luck in the world to him. But not at Barça unless he comes back not costing us anything.

I believe in player’s rights above club concerns, but that does not mean that the club cannot decide to reject an eight figure transfer for a player that left of his own accord. And yes, I realize this limits our options on a couple of players, but I’m okay with that. If Gio Dos Santos (suddenly, unexpectedly, shockingly) turns into a world beater, then we can buy him back because we sold him. He didn’t leave us in the lurch. Of course, I’d completely understood if he turned down that offer, but that’s his decision, not mine.

Some more nuance: Yaya Toure left because of a variety of factors including playing time and wages. Manchester City were there offering not only a large raise, but also the ability to play with his brother, Kolo, and Barça cashed in on that desire to the tune of €24m, a nice €13m profit on the player, effectively saying that the team could do at least as well without him (though Mascherano was purchased soon after). It could be argued that Yaya held us over the coals and because we weren’t going to be held to ransom, he had to move. He would, then, in a sense, qualify for the Cesc Rule. Each situation is different and obviously we have little information about the precise goings on behind-the-scenes.

Because of these nuances, I understand if others have a different view. That’s okay, I get it. Perhaps the team would be better with Cesc than without and perhaps some believe in bringing back The Catalan Kid. It seems unlikely that it would be worse given the Spanish national team example of how the midfield could work. It just feels wrong, like the club is being snookered by an impatient child incapable of working through, like Xavi, Iniesta, Messi, even Bojan. Fight for your place rather than look up the ladder and say “I can’t make it here.” If you’re that good—if you’re worth €35m+—you’re good enough to earn a spot. And if you feel like you want to go elsewhere to earn money now, during what is a short shelf life, that is perfectly acceptable. But to me, that’s the same as shutting the door behind you as you go out.

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Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in the greater New York City area with his wife and daughter.

328 Comments

  1. June 28, 2011

    A few things:

    –It’s almost become common knowledge that this deal is done, pending a thorough medical exam, because the club is concerned about all of Fabregas’ recent injuries.

    –Ramzi’s Tweet cracked me up about them removing the Fabregas stuff from the brick-and-mortar because they were dusting the shelves. You got quite the rise out of @josepcapdevila, of Sport:

    El Arsenal ya ha quitado de la tienda las camisetas con el 4 y el nombre de Cesc. Ahora saldrá el listillo diciendo que estaban sucias… 😀

    Those saying that Fabregas not being in the promo video should note that Van Persie isn’t, either. I repeat, until he is kissing the crest in the Camp Nou ….

    –Buzz is that there isn’t some kind of super-secret Fabregas fund. We used up most of last summer’s transfer kitty on Villa, if everyone will recall. I think that RoSELL was setting the table when he said that we might use some of next summer’s monies to get the deals done that we need to get done this year.

    I think it’s also part of his push to keep Guardiola for more than one season, by giving him what he wants. dennise is right in that the Fabregas push is Guardiola. RoSELL only sells players out from under a coach. 😀

    –If Chelsea is in for 44m for Sanchez, we’re out, and we should be. I love that we’re sticking to our best offer. The only question will be how effective Udinese is at convincing him to help them by letting them take the highest bid. I think if they were having success at that, he’d already be dead to us. So we see.

    –Anyone arguing against the quality of Fabregas is misguided. He’s a hell of player, stupid backheels on the edge of his box notwithstanding (did that count as an assist?). My sole issue is price. I think we have other, greater needs.

    –J Dos Santos apparently isn’t making the cut. His name is coming up in transfer/loan rumors, which is a bad sign. Yes, so are Thiago’s, but that’s clearly BritPress craziness. The club has absolutely zero intention of doing anything except keeping Thiago. And as someone very astutely pointed out on Twitter, Fabregas could also be an insurance policy to “Bojan-proof” Thiago from the burden of expectations (something I didn’t think of).

    –dennise is also right in that we aren’t going to buy a single player that Guardiola doesn’t approve of and want. It’s why the Neymar rumors are nonsense. Guardiola has already rejected that transfer because of (valid, I think) character concerns about the player. Could RoSELL have said “We’ll be back next year if Guardiola leaves and Neymar stays?” I wouldn’t put it past him.

    –The Sport journo, Josep Capdevila, says that EMD is the official RoSELL mouthpiece. Not sure if that was stated out of envy or scorn. 😀

    • blitzen
      June 28, 2011

      And as someone very astutely pointed out on Twitter, Fabregas could also be an insurance policy to “Bojan-proof” Thiago from the burden of expectations (something I didn’t think of).

      Well, yes, exactly. Thiago is an amazing talent, but Pep has been very clear that he doesn’t want to rush him into the first team. He has only just turned 20, remember, and we have all seen that he still needs some development in his game skills. As he improves and fits more perfectly into the team, he will get more responsibility. He is a long-term project. Fabregas will get plenty of playing time as well, especially in the second half of the season, I expect. My only real worry is that this will leave Keita sitting on the bench or even in the stands too often. But he seems pretty OK with that, and he will probably be the linchpin in the midfield for the Copa games at least.

    • Jnice
      June 28, 2011

      The Sport journo, Josep Capdevila, says that EMD is the official RoSELL mouthpiece. Not sure if that was stated out of envy or scorn

      I said that last summer. A lot of people noted that.

  2. blitzen
    June 28, 2011

    So JDS is one of the Mexican players who was robbed in the latest scandal involving prostitutes. Apparently it was one of the coaches who arranged the party at the hotel. Skeezy.

    • June 28, 2011

      Eh? I thought it was GDS?

      I’m torn between 😆 and shaking my head.

      • blitzen
        June 28, 2011

        The story I read said JDS, but maybe they got it wrong. *crosses fingers*

      • June 28, 2011

        I read on barcastuff that GDS was one of the 8 players robbed, but I don’t know if JDS was even called up for the Gold Cup…

      • blitzen
        June 28, 2011

        OK, it was the U-22 squad, and it was definitely Jonathan. It was after they played a friendly in Quito.

      • Jnice
        June 28, 2011

        Kind of sucks, though, because apparently he’s been kicked out.

      • June 28, 2011

        Johnny Two-Time is trying to out-Gio Gio, isn’t he? Crikey.

      • blitzen
        June 28, 2011

        If he was stupid enough to let hookers into his room he deserves to be kicked out. No sympathy from me. Of course, the coach should be fired as well.

      • June 28, 2011

        ^This

        Why, Jona? Why? smh.

      • mom4
        June 28, 2011

        Why don’t guys ever learn?

      • Soto
        June 29, 2011

        From what I read on a few latin american news sites and Soccer by Ives, the players have been booted for six months and fined a chunk of change. So, it’s a good reprimand with consequences (no Copa America opportunities, if there were any) but no international career ending consequences. Hopefully Two Saints learns from this.

      • June 28, 2011

        It’s such a smae I hope its the older brother of the family. Jonathan seemed to really wanted to play for mexico and now this?
        Their coach is the one most responsible though I wouldn’t kick the players out

  3. June 28, 2011

    “Borderline erotic”? “White girl bleaching”? What is Silly Season doing to you people?

    • Jnice
      June 28, 2011

      Second time I’ve seen “white girl bleaching.” Whether it was by the same person, I’m not sure.

  4. June 28, 2011

    Valentin Botella (president Hercules): “We hope to close the deal on Kiko Femania this week. Barça signs a gem.” [com radio via barcastuff]

    Hey look, a signing!

  5. June 28, 2011

    And as someone very astutely pointed out on Twitter, Fabregas could also be an insurance policy to “Bojan-proof” Thiago from the burden of expectations (something I didn’t think of).

    I very much agree with this. I think Fabergas arriving will actually help Thiago develop as long as Pep is fully committed to rotating both Xavi and Iniesta.

    Playing CM for Barca is arguably the most cognitively difficult position in the world to play. Just the sheer number of decision that have be made due to how often the play is run through you is astounding. You are literally taxed with making one decision after another after another and needing to do it very quickly.

    Thiago was bar none the best player in the u21 championships. Easily the best player in that tournament. And even then – he did not read the semi-final game optimally and did not utilize space for the team as well as they needed to.

    That’s might be an unfair burden to place on a player so young – but that’s the nature of the position. It’s very daunting.

    We all know how long it was before Xavi and Iniesta were truly in charge and running the team. Both were far older than Thiago. One can argue perhaps that both Xavi and Iniesta were actually blocked and should have been playing more earlier – but it’s hard to know.

    There’s nothing wrong with Thiago learning over the next 3-4 seasons how to fully run the team. There is no reason to rush him or to thrust huge amounts of responsibility on him now.

    To be honest – it’s not even clear if the “Xavi role” is Thiago’s best position. From what we’ve seen – it very well may not be. The “iniesta role” may be.

    From what I’ve seen of the youth players I almost feel that Javi Espinoza is the one who may be most naturally suited to that “xavi role.” He’s so composed on the ball. Thiago is more dynamic and direct.

    There’s nothing wrong with giving Thiago time to understand for himself what his game truly is and how it fits into the sysetm.

    Pep once said that he completely believes in Thiago – perhaps even more than Thiago’s own father does. I don’t think he would say something like that lightly.

    I don’t think anyone believes in the youth players more than Pep. But what’s become very apparent is that while Pep believes in them he wants them developed and integrated very , very slowly. Far more slowly than we clues often want.

    And I do think what happened with Bojan is a telling model of what to avoid. Too much, too fast is not helpful to the player. And that’s much more the case with the CM position.

    As long as Pep rotates the midfield regularly and Thiago stays patient there’s having Cesc is not going to kill Thiago’s career at Barca.

    I think my greatest worry is Thiago staying patient. Can he show the same patience for playing time that Xavi and Iniesta did? I don’t know. That’s the biggest open question for me. And it’s that issues of patience that will be all important for every youth product to stay.

    There are simply too many expectations for trophies now to thrust significant responsibility on players who are 19-20 in most cases. This is particularly true for the positions where more decision making is required.

    • xavi
      June 28, 2011

      People talking up the pressure as if Thiago is handed the responsibility to lead the club towards glory… Remember that’s not what it is. He isn’t even going to be the first player to be called up to play if any of Xavi or Iniesta isn’t available. ‘A game here & there’ pressure? Well he did show he can cope well with that! Villarreal game. And the home game against Levante, he was brought to be the difference maker and he indeed just that. He changed the game without feeling the pressure!!

      Okay may be I’m thinking really too much into it. May be Pep does have plans to integrate Thiago even in the presence of Cesc. But Thiago would probably have this question for which I’d like to hear the answer.
      ‘Cesc Fabregas is some one who couldn’t show patience as a 16 year old and left & you are happy to buy him back. Why would I have to be patient and stay back when I’m a 20 year old, ready for first team… no been with the first team for over a season now and have numerous clubs clubs to offer me just that?’

      • June 28, 2011

        The pressure would come if Pep is truly concerned about how many minutes Xavi is playing and/ or Xavi’s risk for injury.

        If Pep’s plan is to heavily rotate Xavi – which I think he very well may need to do – it will be a lot to ask of Thigo. It won’t be a “game here or there.”

        And it’s not even an issue of pressure primarily. It’s an issue of decision making. And part of that comes from experience.

        Pep seems to want to integrate youth players very slowly – again, far slower than many cules do.

        There’s a legitimate argument to be made that having Cesc here will help Thiago – but again, that depends on Pep implementing heavy rotation.

        Even with Cesc here Thiago will develop as long as Pep is committed to heavy midfield rotation. If Pep isn’t going to heavily rotate both Xavi and Iniesta – well then there’s going to be an issue.

      • Gogah
        June 28, 2011

        And that is the key isn’t it? Rotation. We have often wondered this past season why Pep chose to field a strong 11 even for bottom table league matches and the Copa notably. While it may seem we have become increasingly extremely efficient, stringent in defense in the 3 years, the above fact is an evidence of Pep also worrying more, over analyzing more and putting more than necessary into matches. this is why a “burn out” situation worries me. your logic of cesc as backup for xavi and thiago the backup for iniesta makes sense to me and also very attractive. But will Pep rotate? with Mourinho’s famous second year approaching, and Pep’s track record in worrying and losing hair strengthens, What if it becomes a “galactico meltdown”. Sanchez, cesc, thiago, xavi, iniesta, busi, afellay, pedro, masch are all important players and deserve minutes.

    • blitzen
      June 28, 2011

      I think my greatest worry is Thiago staying patient. Can he show the same patience for playing time that Xavi and Iniesta did?

      Thiago actually strikes me a very level-headed young man. Of course he wants to play as often as possible, but I don’t think he is the type to start sulking if he doesn’t play. His father may get pushy, but for Thiago’s attitude look no further than his lack of complaint when Pep sent him back to help out the B team. He seemed happy to do it.

      • xavi
        June 28, 2011

        That’s because he was assured he was going to be promoted the following season, after explaining how Afellay would eat his time which would not be beneficial for him.

        Now he will understand that the presence of Cesc would diminish his time even more!!

      • xavi
        June 28, 2011

        not just ‘time’ but ‘playing time’ of course 😀

  6. barca96
    June 28, 2011

    The new Arsenal away jersey sure looks nice as hell.
    It’s on par with the ones from 1996/97 with Bergkamp.
    Damn!!! Why can’t we get nice jerseys like that??

  7. June 28, 2011

    You know all this talk aboout Thiago being patien while Cesc was not is a little unfair. First of all the situation at Barca 6 years ago was completely different. Right now Barca is the best team in the world, perhaps the best ever, any player would want to stay, even if they could barely play. World class players are willing to take reduced salaries and bench roles in order to don the vest. That was not even close to the case when Cesc decided to leave. Would Thiago be as “patient” if we werent as successfull as we are? I think that is a valid question. Would Cesc have left if we were the team back then that we are now? Another valid question.

    Point is, the situations are completely different so I think it is a bit silly trying to compare the two.

    Fact is, looks like we are going to get Cesc and probably keep Thiago so me thinks Pep has big plans for both and I think the long term vision is to have Thiago and Cesc as the core of the team, with Messi, Sanchez and Pedro leading the line. Not too shabby if you ask me 🙂

    • xavi
      June 28, 2011

      Thiago had an offer from Chelsea in 2008… We were in as much a slump as we were when Cesc was offered a contract by Arsenal. Just saying

      • June 28, 2011

        Hardly. The slump in 2008 was not great, but we were still coming off the back of 2 league wins and a CL. When Cesc left in 2003 we hadnt won anything in years and frankly the outlook was pretty bleak. Laporta came in and completely transformed the club. 2008 was also the year that Pep was coaching Barca B and was promoted to the first team, Thiago would have been an idiot to leave, especially after working under Pep in the B team.

  8. Justin
    June 28, 2011

    I agree with Euler, honestly with thiago/cesc/keita there is no reason for xavi/iniesta to ever play two games a week until the CL knockout rounds. THis means a much better rested xavi and iniesta without a gigantic dropoff.

    • June 28, 2011

      Yes. This is exactly it. I think what Pep is trying to do is to make it so that the players don’t need to play two games a week.

      The Barca midfield runs so much – we often talk about Dani but Xavi winds up running in his position enormous distances.

      Villa and Xavi definitely should not be required to play two games a week. It would be beneficial for Iniesta not to have to either.

      A midfield of Cesc, Thiago and Busi would be more than enough to handle the vast majority of teams in la liga.

      The player who I think needs to be rotated the most is villa – he was clearly exhausted. The difference between his play to close out the season and then the CL finals with two weeks of rest was so dramatic.

      But for that matter – so was the entire team’s. Finishing up the season their off the ball movement just withered away across the pitch. This is why they had difficulty with RM trivote formation. They just didn’t move dynamically enough.

      Then with two weeks off they completely changed back into the team we were watching in November. That’s not an accident.

      • mei
        June 28, 2011

        I can distinguish two types of running : sprinting and overall distance covering. Second one maintains a steady rhythm and is quite hard to master; however the first one consumes much more energy and leaves you exhausted at the end of the game.
        So I guess you are spot on about villa needing rotation even more than xavi. Its just the nature of the position he plays in and the demands of his role.

  9. mom4
    June 28, 2011

    Whoa, Guti isn’t as dumb as Crackovia makes him out to be:

    barcastuff
    Guti (ex-Madrid): “Cristiano is a decisive player but in the important games he so far wasn’t up to it. That’s why Messi is better now.”

    • Eklavya
      June 28, 2011

      Yeah, pretty shocking isn’t it?

      • hammeronmessi
        June 28, 2011

        he is dumb ass and quite an arrogant one.

        but on his day and when he was in mood there is absolutely no one better than him,not even xavi at passing the ball.

        fortunately for us he was way too irregular to be judged.

    • blitzen
      June 28, 2011

      Burning his bridges rather nicely, isn’t he? 😆

      I always had a soft spot for Guti.

      • mom4
        June 28, 2011

        pim pam 🙂

      • hammeronmessi
        June 28, 2011

        you do.

        your choice of man is not very impressive.:))

      • mom4
        June 28, 2011

        Nah, Blitz’s heart is for Xavi from what I recall. We’re discerning soccer girls. After all, we’re cules. Ergo, if we were to to all fangirl on someone, it wouldn’t be Guti.

      • blitzen
        June 28, 2011

        Yeah, I only like Guti, not like like him. 😛

        Xavi is the true midget master of my heart. 😆

  10. hammeronmessi
    June 28, 2011

    i agree with kxevin.

    he is 2 expensive.

  11. hammeronmessi
    June 28, 2011

    the cartoon caption of EMD cracked me up

    “Cesc and Thiago are completely compatible!…Thiago can play that part of the season where Cesc is always injured.”

  12. Whatever
    June 28, 2011

    It looks like we’re going to end up bringing Sanchez, Fabregas and Jose Angel. Bojan and Jeffren are likely to leave. A solid transfer window, if you ask me.

    • blitzen
      June 28, 2011

      What about Kiko Femenia? Seems to be almost a done deal.

      • mom4
        June 28, 2011

        He’s supposed to be B team (w/ some call-ups probably)

    • Jnice
      June 28, 2011

      Dunno about Jose Angel. I read an article yesterday and Roma are serious about signing him. We’re going to have to move fast and improve our rather low offer.

      • hammeronmessi
        June 28, 2011

        you are a sanchez fan and u watch football a lot.so how good sanchez actually is?whats his strongest and weakest point?i have seen youtube clips,but cant judge him on that.

        i m certain that he will upgrade baca?m i wrong?

      • Eklavya
        June 28, 2011

        Haven’t we been talking about him in the past few weeks?

      • hammeronmessi
        June 28, 2011

        if by we u mean me,jnice and others then no.

        if by we u mean jnice and others then maybe.

      • Josep
        June 28, 2011

        Eklavya is saying go read some old threads.

        Anyways his pros are his speed, dribbling, pace. He’s so tiny he is an immense dribber, and his one-on-one’s are amazing. he’s been less selfish recently, and can shoot decently well.

        the one jnice talks about more than others is his defensive abilities and tracking back. someone likened him to pre-pep Messi with potential.. I think the kid has all the tools to be a super star here.

      • hammeronmessi
        June 28, 2011

        got it from eklavya,just want to irritate that man.

        pre pep messi potential?????????????messi was not a potential.messi injured himself every year before pep take over.all cules know that he will be WPTY if he had a injury free season.look at the evidence.in all his injury free season he was chosen as WPTY.and he will be the WPTY for this season too.

        sanchez to me is always the no 1 target for this season cause of his 1 on 1 abilities.he will upgrade this barca,which i think very few player at such an early age can boast of.just wanted jnice opinion,cause he watches full matched most of the time.

        thank u though

  13. hammeronmessi
    June 28, 2011

    leisure time.so was reading some old articles.

    this two are especially nostalgic.

    +http://www.zonalmarking.net/2010/05/04/how-the-2000s-changed-tactics-1-the-fall-and-rise-of-the-passing-midfielder/

    +http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/blog/2009/may/03/barcelona-real-madrid-la-liga

  14. Eklavya
    June 28, 2011

    JDS banned for 6 months according to barcastuff.

    • Josep
      June 28, 2011

      from the national team…

      kinda different from what you wrote.

      • Eklavya
        June 28, 2011

        You know what I mean.

      • mom4
        June 28, 2011

        Now boys…
        I know we are all suffering from Silly Season and Soccerless Distress Syndrome but don’t get chippy w/ each other 🙂

        Anywho, if you do stupid things there are consequences. 6 months away from the NT, I personally think Barca should suspend him for a while(if we’re even keeping him) for idiocy if for nothing else(and hopefully he’s not bringing anything nasty and contagious back with him).

  15. hammeronmessi
    June 28, 2011

    so why was he banned?

    can anybody enlighten me?

  16. June 28, 2011

    It’s been funny to see Sport and MD now start to write all of these articles and editorials about how Thiago and Cesc are “compatible.”

    For weeks they were the ones pushing Thiago out the door. Rosell. Austerity. Cesc, cesc, cesc, home, home, home!!!!

    And now after the u21s when everyone got to see how brilliant he is (which was readily apparent before) and both papers have seen the results of their on line polling – they’ve completely changed directions and story lines. So typical.

    Now they are making it out as if it’s so strange where did all of these ideas come from that if Cesc came Thiago would have to go? How silly and foolish! Of course they can play together… let us explain to you how!

    • Jnice
      June 28, 2011

      It really is funny.

  17. Jnice
    June 28, 2011

    We look set to miss out on Jose Angel to Roma.

    @ricardorosety: Preacuerdo entre el Sporting y la Roma por José Angel… En 24 horas se pulen los detalles. Hay que plasmarlo en la oferta por escrito.

    El Sporting recibiría algo menos de 4,5 millones de euros, y la noticia ya está en la Gazzeta.. http://bit.ly/l6W3sX

    Good job by Zubi, Rosell and co. Missing out on one of Spain’s brightest defensive talents because they refuse to offer more than 1.5m up front. Nice.

    • Jnice
      June 28, 2011

      lose out*

      • K_legit
        June 28, 2011

        well there goes my prediction out the window
        /facepalm

    • June 28, 2011

      I hope this is not true. Barcastuff just had a quote from Sabatini on rac1 saying they were interested in Angel but that he was closer to Barca:

      barcastuff barcastuff
      Sabatini (sports director Roma): “We’re also interested in Sporting left back Jose Angel, but he seems closer to Barcelona now.” [rac1]

      That said – the way they’ve conducted these negotiations has been silly.

      These Angel negotiations seem like they’ve been Rosell’s transfer market version of no more color copeies. The whole things just seems to be about making a point of Barca and “austerity.”

      Angel is well worth 4M. To be honest – if I were Gijon I would ask for more.

      But for Barca to basically make this ridiculous offer to try to get Gijon to buckly under is ridiculous.

      This isn’t some 40M deal. It’s 4M. Just be reasonable and get the player signed.

      Now all that said – it sounds like Angel really wants to come to Barca and that he felt a deal was close. Not sure why he would approve a deal to Roma.

      Left back is one of the few positions where Barca doesn’t have clear player for the future and have a relatively immediate need. It’s a great opportunity for him. He said something to the effect that playing for Barca is an opportunity that only comes across once.

      We’ll see. It would be very unfortunate to lose him, especially for nonsensical reasons. A bid of 1.5M + variables was ridiculous and just a waste of time. Just get the deal done rather than trying to make a point out of Gijon.

      • Jnice
        June 28, 2011

        We’ll see, unless we change our offer, he’s off to Roma.

        These Angel negotiations seem like they’ve been Rosell’s transfer market version of no more color copeies. The whole things just seems to be about making a point of Barca and “austerity.”

        Agreed.

      • Leckan1
        June 28, 2011

        You haven’t seen Alejandro Grimaldo play? He’s the LB of the excellent Cadete A team. He also played in the recent U-17 torunament where they lost against Corinthians. I’v seen about 5 games from him and he was by far the best player in the team even though he’s only 15! Maybe it’s too early to say but I’m going out on a limb and say that he’s the most promising LB La Masia has seen since Sergi. Very, very skilled and quick and complements it with a real Puyol-esque fighting spirit.

        Early days yet but we’re talking about a player than can pretty much dominate a flank by himself. I have big hopes for him although there’s still a few years left to really know for sure obviously.

      • Jnice
        June 28, 2011

        Grimaldo is excellent (I’m really impressed by him), but the kid is 15. He won’t be part of the first team for another 3-5 years. We still need someone in between then.

      • June 28, 2011

        The club cannot make decisions about what the senior side needs in the near to intermediate term future based on 15 year olds who play for Juvenil A.

        We don’t even know if he’s even going to be with the club in a year or two.

        Grimaldo was picked to play for Spain’s u16 team. Who else was picked for that team – Toral Harper. How did that turn out?

        He’s much too far away.

        If Barca is not going to reinforce CB then they really need another LB – and that’s a need they have next season and on into the immediate future.

      • Leckan1
        June 28, 2011

        You’re misunderstanding me. You said that we didn’t have a clear player for the future and I wonderered if you had seen him unless you meant really close future.

  18. K_legit
    June 28, 2011

    Oh god its so stressful silly season and the effort it would take to write a long post would be great but I am willing to take a shot…

    1. In the last season the players were extremely fatigued (due to the extra part of the WC) but their superhuman efforts in combination with our medical staff made it possible for them to continue at the high level for an extended period without suffering any burn out (or significant one anyway). We’re blessed in the fact that we possess players who are versatile and therefore can adapt to a variety of positions and although adaptation comes at a price, of that then not being as effective in one position as they would be in the other, the versatile players we possess i.e Adriano, Mascherano, Abidal, Busquets and Afellay have shown to not only play but also excel in their different positions. So, the buys we have made last time around have been totally justified and have delivered their brief fittingly.

    2. Now on to this season. The expected transfers out of the club are Milito, Maxwell, Jeffren and Bojan (in the form of sale, sale, loan and loan respectively) and thus we see a distinct lack of depth in the defense and attack departments..In case of defense we can rely on Mascherano and Busquets to provide cover, in addition the expected promotion of Fontas (for me) suggests that we are just about covered on that front..first choice backline would be:

    Alves Pique Puyol Abidal

    with backups, Adriano for Alves, Fontas for Pique, Mascherano for Puyol but Adriano again for Abidal..even though Adriano provides that versatility it’d be foolish not to recognise the obvious lack of a LB cover and thus the transfer of Jose Angel is a well needed one (not to the B team but to the A team)
    Also, it’d be excellent if we bought back Botia but he seems not to be in the plans of the transfer dept and both Henrique (whom Kxevin lovingly dubbed Gone Adriano) and Caceres sold, it’d be bad business not to get a covering CB..I’d be tempted to retain Milito but he seems to be only a shadow of his former self sadly..
    Thus, a CB and a LB are needed…Jose Angel for the LB spot and for CB I guess we need to rely on Fontas.

    3. In attack, the departures of Jeffren and Bojan will not leave as gaping a fissure as expected but it does address the issue of depth…we play with 3 forwards and with the transfers going as expected we’d be left with 4 (Messi, P!, Villa and Afellay) for those spots and therefore, reinforcement is needed and hence, my dream buys would be Sanchez (because between him and Rossi,I believe Sanchez offers more as a destabilising force) and (if I am permitted to suggest) Llorente of Athletic..Llorente provides a reference point for Messi to hower around and gives us genuine aerial threat which we lack miserably at..

    4. Finally, regarding Cesc…I believe it is in FCB’s best interest to wrap up this deal one way or the other..the publicicty this pseudo-transfer has garnered is just so damaging to the club’s image..we’ve offered a price to Arsenal and let us say, this is it..take it or leave it..if Cesc wants to pay Arsenal his way out so be it but this posturing and trying to please both clubs nonsense that he has been carryng out the last 2 years is getting to my nerves..do I want him here? Personally, Yes…I believe he offers us a lot as a genuine goal scoring midfield player who we lack at the moment (apart from Messi ofcourse..Iniesta just scored his three seasons worth goals this time around) but Pragmatically thinking, I do understand that this can set a false precedent and also provide vindication to Cesc leaving the club..and although I would love for Cesc to return to the Camp Nou, it is in FCB’s best interest that he stays at Arsenal because I honestly feel he lost his chance of return when he signed two contract renewals (ok one renewal and one improvement) in the space of half a season..This, I truly believe, is the season of Thiago..

    There, this is what I feel about this season..God I need some sleep

  19. messi_fan
    June 28, 2011

    “These Angel negotiations seem like they’ve been Rosell’s transfer market version of no more color copies”

    EXACTLY

  20. Humphrey Bogart
    June 28, 2011

    Ah, on German TV they have the german games from last WC, at the moment Spain vs Germany, and to see Puyi and his header in this game, it just gives me the chills, nobody (apart from Ini, but he got his big moment in the finale) was more deserving to score such a vital goal, Puyi, always and forever, in the heart of every cule

  21. Leckan1
    June 28, 2011

    Whatever happens though we really need a new LB. Preferably relatively young.

    • blitzen
      June 28, 2011

      I really don’t understand the obsession with left backs around here. We have a healthy Abidal, who had the best season of his life until he had to have surgery. We have Adriano, who did a fabulous job filling in. We still have Maxwell, who may be on the way out…or may be staying. We don’t seem to be shopping him around very hard if we are planning on selling him.

      We have Muniesa on the B team, who is ready to play more minutes with the first team. Fontas can (and has) also play LB as needed.

      • June 28, 2011

        Second that. Lets hope we do not end up buying all the players beside the ones we need.

      • Ryan
        June 28, 2011

        Seriously! We lost all 3 of our left backs at one point in the season, that’s why it looked like we had a crisis. Isn’t Adriano in the mid 20s anyway? I liked how he was playing after several games in a row; I’d be happy relying on him for 1st LB as Abidal transitions into a full-time CB role.

  22. Leckan1
    June 28, 2011

    Why aren’t we looking at Jose Enrique? Has only one year left on his contract, is only 25 so he hasn’t his his prime yet and has been among the top 3 LB’s in the Premier League this season. I liked him way back when he played for Villarreal which is a team that plays technical ball-empasized football lest we forget. He’s too good for Newcastle.

    Would probably cost around €10m but he’s far more proven than Jose Angel and very good defensively as well as being very fast and decent technically. I like him alot and don’t understand why we aren’t looking at him (or maybe we are sercetly who knows).

    • June 29, 2011

      We were. There was a post somewhere about him.

  23. Miguel
    June 28, 2011

    Am I supposed to keep abreast of the JDS scandal for the B-team write-up? And if he’s sold before July 6th do I still have to write it? You’re killing me, Jonathan.

    😛

    • June 28, 2011

      But of course. Make it good, Migs. :mrgreen:

    • blitzen
      June 28, 2011

      Must be extra hard for you since you say JDS looks like your little brother. 😛

  24. June 28, 2011

    Good arguments about why we should sign Cesc. None is realistic, but keep them coming, as it seems we will need them in the coming days. Spending that amount of money on a player we dont need -at all- is stupid. He played his cards right. His friendship with influential players in the dressing room and the fact that he is Catalan. The “achievement” roSELL can claim for signing the chosen one. Thats why he is coming. Period.

    At least he has quality when he is not injured. So yea…

    regarding JDS… HBNIPUBC ECNOJ !!!IN3F*!!!

    • Jnice
      June 28, 2011

      As much as I would like to, let’s not overlook Pep’s role in all of this. Aside from the other things you’ve mentioned, It’s clear that he really wants Cesc.

      • June 28, 2011

        Coach’s decisions depend on different factors, including dressing room moral, influential stars demands (to strengthen the relation with), getting players who will surely be welcomed in the squad (not the players whom because of them the club had no money to buy Cesc), and maybe his own emotional drive beside many other factors.

        In a world with no such factors, no reasoning behind buying the player. In fact, even for the midfield there are better players the club can buy for the same or cheaper price.

        I was right about few things and wrong more often. I’ve never been as certain about something as I am regarding this one. This is not a pure (coach needs) issue. Far from it.

      • Jnice
        June 28, 2011

        This is not a pure (coach needs) issue. Far from it.

        Hence the reason I said: Aside from the other things you’ve mentioned, It’s clear that he really wants Cesc.

      • June 28, 2011

        But I am still hopeful. Counting on Arsenal resistance:) Which is a wrong thing for them if you ask me (if they ask me I’ll say you are right, dont sell him for the money of the world!)

    • mom4
      June 28, 2011

      “regarding JDS… HBNIPUBC ECNOJ !!!IN3F*!!!”

      can’t decipher at all 🙁
      maybe that’s a good thing?

      • mom4
        June 28, 2011

        replied wrong- was to be @ Ramzi

      • Eklavya
        June 28, 2011

        Maybe he means: “Happy But Not Incredibly Particularly Unhappy Because Can’t Eklavya Chips Nachos Onion Jam !!! I Nonsense 3x F*ck!!!”

      • Vj
        June 28, 2011

        wow 😐

      • Eklavya
        June 28, 2011

        Too much time to kill man

  25. June 28, 2011

    After a great deal of perpetual, nearly daily squawking from Pozzo and company, things have gone very quiet out of the Udinese camp.

    No recent boasts or public demands.

    My sense has been that the Sanchez deal would get done once Udinese went quite.

    I wonder if we are near the endgame now, especially with the Copa America coming up.

    Udinese has now gotten Inter, Juve, Man City, Chelsea and Barca involved with the bidding process. There just isn’t many other parties to involve that could even in theory afford the player.

    It’s time for them to make a deal. Holding onto him longer may see diminishing returns, especially if he gets injured.

    Man City and Chelsea have made enormous offers per report. Still nothing has been finalized.

    And perhaps most interestingly, we have not heard Pozzo try to drum up what is by far the most obvious and beneficial possible auction in professional football – get Chelsea and Man City to bid against themselves.

    I wonder if this is coming to a close. Let’s hope.

    • June 28, 2011

      Looks like you are right..

      Via Barcastuff
      A deal on Udinese attacker Alexis Sanchez (22) is close. Barcelona would pay 27M+13M variables. Last discussions about variables. [sport]

      • mom4
        June 28, 2011

        OK, time to educate me. I keep on hearing about variables. What are these variables?

      • Jnice
        June 28, 2011

        Examples of variables:

        -If Sanchez appears in 35 games for us, Udinese will receive 1.5m

        – If we win the Champions League, Udinese will receive 4m

        – If Sanchez scores 15 leagues goals, Udinese will receive 725k

        Etc.

      • mom4
        June 28, 2011

        Thanks!

      • June 28, 2011

        Good examples. The middle one, if I recall correctly, came into play in summer of 2009, when Sevilla received a hefty suitcase of several million euros upon our winning the Champions League with Dani Alves.

        Worth every penny. 😛

    • Jnice
      June 28, 2011

      On the show El Partido de las 12 on Cadena Cope, they are claiming Sanchez is close to signing for us… even closer than Cesc is right now.

      Sky Sports Italia say Mancini has said Man City have withdrawn from the race to sign Sanchez.

      We’ll see what happens.

    • June 28, 2011

      Who knows what is going on at any moment with this nonsense!

      Sport keeps printing these ultimatums – and they still haven’t been right.

      But 27M + 13M variables sounds about right. It’s still working off a 40 valuation with Udinese absorbing much more risk in the deal then they probably want.

      The Sky Sport Italia stuff is interesting – they are also not very accurate. And not sure why an Italian source would have it first as that’s a statement that would have to come from Mancini himself. Not sure why an English source hasn’t gotten it first.

      But all that said – I do think the quiet from the Udinese side is noteworthy. I commented on this yesterday as well – stark change and it continued today. The only statement from them was via Quique Pina yeseterday saying a decision could be reached this week.

      I think (hope?) the Udinese sideshow is over. The bids are on the table and they need to sit down and make a feasible deal – not the optimal deal they are looking for – but the deal that is going to work for both them and Sanchez.

      Let’s see. If Sanchez does come to Barca – it will be a lot of money.

      But it will say quite a bit about Sanchez because he will be giving up millions to come to Barca. Millions he will never be able to directly recoup again because these are the years in his life when his earning potential is maximized.

      The quiet from Udinese is telling.

  26. June 28, 2011

    In follow up to JNice’s post above – Goal.com Italy is also reporting that Mancini said that City had pulled out of the bidding for Sanchez.

    If the quotes are accurate – then City is definitely out. City has made almost no public comment on the nature of the Sanchez deal. Don’t think Mancini has said anything at all about the player.

    That would leave Barca and Chelsea. And it seems like City already had made the definitive high bid. Chelsea may have matched but don’t think they went past.

    Seems like things are indeed coming to closure with Sanchez.

    http://www.goal.com/it/news/7/calciomercato/2011/06/29/2552317/mancini-tira-fuori-il-city-per-sanchez-non-siamo-pi%C3%B9-in

      • June 28, 2011

        You are the source!

        There we go. Mancini would only make this kind of statement publicly because either Sanchez is basically signed or if he feels that City is being used to drive up the price and the player really has no desire to come there regardless of how much money they throw at him.

        Under Mancini City has not missed a player they wanted often. They’ve been persistent in going after a player they want.

        All reports states that Mancini wanted Sanchez desperately. He would have fit into the system he’s trying to run very well. He would have been perfect for them (as he would for Chelsea).

      • beeeef
        June 28, 2011

        Wow

        Relieving to know that this transfer saga is almost over.

        Exciting to know that, despite the heaps of money City and Chelsea are throwing at him and the pressure of Pozzo, Sanchez has been adamant about coming here and here only.

        If the reports of City backing out are true, than he’s as good as ours no?

      • Jnice
        June 28, 2011

        There we go. Mancini would only make this kind of statement publicly because either Sanchez is basically signed or if he feels that City is being used to drive up the price and the player really has no desire to come there regardless of how much money they throw at him.

        Yep, just saw him say it.

        If the reports of City backing out are true, than he’s as good as ours no?

        Dunno. Chelsea may still be in the mix so we’re just going to have to wait and see. I’ve learned not to get my hopes up by now although it’s encouraging to see that City are out of the race.

      • beeeef
        June 28, 2011

        If it’s between Barcelona and Chelsea, the former is the option that guarantees the most even level of satisfaction for all parties involved. Would be very surprised to see Sanchez move to Chelsea at this point, but you’re right about being cautious. The transfer could still fall through for any number of reasons.

  27. June 28, 2011

    Chelsea is definite still a real threat. It’s not a done deal yet until it’s official.

    That said – if this was simply a matter of City vs. Chelsea I don’t know if Mancini would have just bowed out like that.

    If Chelsea were still in the mix that would suggest Sanchez was open to playing in the EPL. I’d think Mancini would want to stay in just to force Chelsea to spend as much as possible as they will be locked all summer on the same players.

    We have to wait – but it does look promising. It does seem like Sanchez wants to play for Barca.

    • Dani_el
      June 28, 2011

      In the end the player will sign for the club of his liking right?, I hope in the end is up to him, and I hope he says “if I have to go I’d go to Barça, If that doesnt happen I’d rather stay here” as Cesc said… Do you think other negotiations are open? I havent heard anything about Rossi or Willian…

    • beeeef
      June 28, 2011

      And given that Chile’s first Copa match is six days away, I think we’l hear an announcement soon. Everything feels very last minute with this deal.

  28. June 28, 2011

    As JNice posted before, it does look like Jose Angel is very close to signing with Roma.

    La Voz De Asturias is reporting that Sporting has agreed to terms with Roma and that Angels has given his ok. I think the deal is for 4M + 500K in variables. Roma is also offering Angel a higher salary.

    They are also reporting that the deal will be done in 24-48 hours.

    Basically this is now getting leaked most likely to send Barcelona a message – match the offer now or he is going to Roma.

    This is Sporting telling Barca that this is your last chance. They may be waiting to finalize the deal as a favor to the player – giving Barca one last chance.

    Barca is really being ridiculous in these negotiations. It’s absurd to spend 40M on a player you don’t have an immediate need for and then turn around and try to put the screws to a small club like Sporting to try to squeeze down their demands with a low ball offer.

    4.5M for Angel is a completely reasonable deal. Sporting has now received three or four separate offers for Angel that were for 4M or so – Fiorentina, Udinese, Malaga and now Roma.

    Angel didn’t move prior because he had reservations about playing for a smaller club in Italy. Roma is a different opportunity.

    Barca cannot just bid 1.5M + variables on a very talented young player who has now gotten 4 different bids at 4M. That is clearly his market rate.

    I really hope they just get this done and do so quickly. Angel and Sporting are giving Barca one last opportunity.

    It makes no sense for Barca to want a 21 year old player if he cost 1.5M + variables but no 4M + variables.

    If he’s not worth 4M then he has no place in the club to start with.

    And Angel is worth 4M. This is Rosell just being ridiculous and trying to show La Liga who the “boss” is.

    http://www.lavozdeasturias.es/deportes/Cote-cerca-Roma_0_508149247.html

    • June 28, 2011

      Fixed it for ya.

      And yeah, these negotiations are just shameful. We have good relations with Gijon so to see us treat them so shoddily makes me angry.

      • June 28, 2011

        That’s what bothers me about this as well really. It’s just completely unnecessary.

        4M is one of the largest transfer fees Sporting has ever gotten for a player. It’s that big an opportunity for them. Just think about that – 4M is one of the largest transfer sums you’ve ever gotten.

        I’m sure that’s why Angel is in part agreeing to the deal. He clear, sincerely wants to come to Barca – even if it means playing on the B team.

        To try to strong arm sporting over 2M or so is just awful.

        Rosell is trying to use the “Mascherano is the model” for a transfer even with Sporting and Angel – because the player wants to come to Barca we will offer less money and less salary – take it or leave it.

        It’s one thing to do on a huge deal – there you have to be firm.

        But on a 4M deal – that’s where you are going to flex your muscle as a large club?

        Just shameful.

        And another thing – Angel has a chance to be the future LB for Spain. To force this player out of the country over pocket change is even worse.

        I want to see Barca act appropriately and get this deal done.

    • Jnice
      June 28, 2011

      I was just going to post that article. If we are going to improve our offer, we should see some movement on that front tomorrow. Otherwise he’s gone. Shameful indeed.

      • June 28, 2011

        They need to get on the phone tomorrow and close this deal.

        It literally should be a 10 minute phone call to agree on parameters and then follow up on the contract details.

        It’s very concrete what this players market value is. Pay it if you want him. There’s no mystery here.

        And they can really use him both now and into the future.

        It’s embarrassing.

  29. goodkindagoon
    June 28, 2011

    i am canadian so i am kinda allowed to have arsenal as a first team and barca as a close second, as the former, taking the article´s price of 35 for Cesc, is pretty insulting! in his position who is really better than him in the world barring Xavi of course, it is just not market value, torres for 50 2 years older and i can name 5 strikers i´d rather have over him taking into account his lack of form this year, also, is Cesc really willing to go from captain of a side built around him to a place on the bench? the entire thing is very weird bc any other team in the world he´d walk into that role, forgetting perhaps snjeider and milan, but it is the only team he wants to, and i believe, will go to, the problem is barca is broke from having too many good players and paying them market value, if Cesc goes for anything less than 50 it is a joke, remembering of course market value and we are children, like he was when he signed, saying well he used to play around here with all his friend in the playground

    • Blow-Grenade
      June 28, 2011

      Hey, Im a Toronto based Canuck as well. Totally agree with all your comments. I am first a Barca supporter and then an Arsenal supporter. I believe Cesc is a masterclass. I believe his correct value is 50 million. I believe that is what Arsenal will end up getting. $39 million plus variables(another 10 to 15 mil) for winning competitions. The transfer is not official yet.

    • blitzen
      June 28, 2011

      I am also Canadian and I disagree with you completely. So there you go.

      • Nav
        June 28, 2011

        Two Canadians disagreeing?! :O

        Naw but seriously, what does your nationality have to do with whom you’re allowed to be a fan of?

    • Ryan
      June 28, 2011

      Let’s say that he’s worth 50 million. He’s also injured about 40% of the time – so 60% value for the time he’s actually able to play, of that supposed 50 million, comes out to 30 million! But seriously, most of us really don’t want Cesc. Our midfield is our greatest asset; let Fabregas come back when his contract is closer to expiring.

    • June 28, 2011

      The best player in the Bundesliga left for 10m. Ozil for 14m.

      If anything, Torres and Carroll show how inflated the British market is, and that they sign players based on reputation, Englishness, and highlights.

      • barca96
        June 29, 2011

        Kari, both Ozil and Sahin were on their last years of their contract. How can you compare them with Cesc? Take your anti-Cesc glasses off for a bit :p

  30. just listenin
    June 28, 2011

    If it weren’t for history and price (what else is there in this case?… oh yeah, a player) there is no way I believe Cesc Fabregas would not be at the top of our potential midfield target list – that’s what makes this so complicated.

    After you get past all that – this is clear. Thiago is a gem, who isn’t ready yet, and shouldn’t be rushed. If successful, We have something on the order of 60 games to play, that’s almost two full seasons for most midfields – what’s the problem? We need a full high quality rotational midfield to win all competitions – liga, copa, CL, fifa club WC, super copa,… and while we’re at it, let Spain keep it’s Int’l dominance (more games for Xavi; Xavi to Cesc: “can you handle the bottom of the table, we have Euro championship match next Wednesday).

    The Fabregas deal makes a lot of much sense to me in light of the schedule and not prematurely inject-ulating Thiago into the first team so he can become the star he is going to be in his own time, and won’t buckle and get demoralized trying to carry a club the weight of Barca – it makes a LOT of sense. There is a lot of stuff clouding the view – We need support between now and 2014 or so when Thiago is really ready. He’s not next, there is supposed to be someone between him and Xavi. At that point in 2014-15, when many say we should take Cesc for free or cheap – I think we really wouldn’t even be thinking about him, he’d be a non-issue. What do we do in the meantime… We actually need him now.

  31. Jnice
    June 28, 2011

    Euler, do you have an actual twitter account or do you just search and what not?

    • June 28, 2011

      Jnice,

      For various reason I’ve really tried to avoid getting a Twitter account.

      That said – I may have to break down and do it! We’ll see.

      So much of the footy world has shifted from blogs to twitter and it’s just seems to be increasing.

      • Jnice
        June 28, 2011

        So much of the footy world has shifted from blogs to twitter and it’s just seems to be increasing.

        Yup. Massive movement right now. And although it’s a little crazy right now because of the transfer window, it really is informative. It’s also fun to discuss stuff with different fans, bloggers, journalists, etc.

        I created mine about 10 months ago with the intention to really only follow people and lurk, but now I have 11,000 tweets, lol.

      • blitzen
        June 28, 2011

        Urgh. I just went ahead and got an account. I blame Eklavya.

      • Jnice
        June 28, 2011

        Hooray! Let me see if I can find you.

        Next in line is Kari, Euler, Jose, mom4, and the entire blog. 😀

      • blitzen
        June 28, 2011

        I have my first stalker follower. Oh joy. 😛

      • mom4
        June 28, 2011

        Oh dear dear dear…
        and I just figured out blogs. 🙄

        Think I’ll lurk around your accounts before comitting to twitter. We old folks are scared o’ technology. 🙂

      • Jnice
        June 28, 2011

        😀 Just block Eklavya and you’ll be fine.

        mom4, how did I know you were going to say that 😛

      • Eklavya
        June 29, 2011

        SoMo4, you know the whole LOTR saga but you’re too afraid to join twitter? Whaaa

      • mom4
        June 29, 2011

        How’d you know I liked LotR? See what happens when you do things on the computer. Everybody knows your business. Back in the day…
        Do not meddle in the affairs of soccer moms for the have mini vans and are craky during rush hour.
        🙂

      • mom4
        June 29, 2011

        spelling- ugh!
        they and cranky

      • Eklavya
        June 29, 2011

        Haha what? You don’t remember the time you scarred all of us? Someone was comparing all our players to those in LOTR and you came and totally corrected the guy who doing the comparisons. It was crazy.

  32. June 28, 2011

    Pftt. I have fbtz. Which Jnice needs to check, s’il vous plait.

    • Jnice
      June 28, 2011

      Checked like Nike. CHEA.

      • June 28, 2011

        I’m stealing that. #probablywontuseit

  33. blitzen
    June 28, 2011

    Have I mentioned I love Christine Sinclair?

    Female soccer players, it seems, are pretty darned tough indeed. They don’t dive like some of the boys, flopping around in fake agony, and when they’re really hurt, they still get up and try to keep going, even against doctor’s orders.

    “I know my teammates,” Sinclair said, ice bag in hand. “We would play through anything to stay on the field. You might not see that in the men’s game.”

    Sinclair, of course, then went on to score Canada’s only goal, on a perfectly struck free kick, in what wound up as a heartening 2-1 loss to the two-time defending World Cup champions, who surrendered their first World Cup goal since 2003.

    From the Globe & Mail.

    Proud Canadian right here! 😀

    • June 28, 2011

      Women’s game is brutal. I can attest to that. #battlescars.

    • Jnice
      June 28, 2011

      Every time I went to a Maryland women’s game, there were always some tough clashes. You girls don’t play (well, you do, but you know what I mean…).

  34. June 28, 2011

    Sport reporting that Barca’s last offer for Angel was – 2M + variables.

    They increased their offer from 1.8M to 2M during the negotiations.

    And in response Sporting got fed up, agreed to a deal with Roma, got Angel to agree on accepting Roma’s offer and leaked a deadline to Barca to get serious with the negotiations.

    Barca is going to commit to spending 80M on Cesc and Sanchez.

    To build squad depth the team is going to need 4 signings given all the players who are likely leaving.

    If you can get a potentially useful player for 4M – especially one who could be with the team for years – it makes sense to get him given how much you’ve concentrated on two players.

    The team needs either an additional CB in addition Fontas or a LB so that there is depth at FB when Abidal needs to play CB.

    In the CL final neither Abidal nor Adriano were fully fit – and the LB position of Barca was defending Valencia, arguably United’s most dangerous attacker. Despite that Maxwell did not even make the final squad. That’s how little confidence Pep had in him by the end of the season.

    Back to you Rosell.

    • barca96
      June 28, 2011

      Why is Rosell being stingy over 2m??

      But I’m kida disappointed with Lucho for messing with out transfer target.

      • Jnice
        June 28, 2011

        But I’m kida disappointed with Lucho for messing with out transfer target.

        I’m not. He’s doing what’s best for his team. While we’re playing games and messing around, he saw the opening and went in with a serious bid. Well done to Lucho and the higher ups at Roma.

      • blitzen
        June 29, 2011

        Yes, exactly. Lucho will always have Barcelona in his heart, but right now he has a job to do and I would never expect him to put Barça’s interest over that of the team he is managing.

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      June 29, 2011

      I think Jose Angel is the only defender that heavily linked to us,
      and now we will lose him to Roma? sucks! 🙁

      I will feel very nervous if we enter 2011/2012 season without buying any defender, tbh…

      • barca96
        June 29, 2011

        I know it’s his right, but it kinda sucks to steal a player that we’ve been targeting all summer long using his inside information.

  35. barca96
    June 28, 2011

    – Euler, thanks a lot for sticking around here and commenting a lot. You went missing a lot during the course of the season. And to have you commenting multiple times per day is just awesome!!

    -Nice comment that I found by KulesKuleros

    you have to wonder about the Masia, growing up with all those eunuchs around. They teach you the Taka, they teach you the Tiki, but where you gonna learn the Chiki-Chiki?

    • Soto
      June 29, 2011

      Ditto on the thanks to Euler, whose insights are always great to read.

  36. June 29, 2011

    Apparently the offer for Jose Angel is 2m fixed + 1.8 variables so in total almost the same amount of money as from Roma. There’s also probably an under the table agreemnt to not buy back Botia just yet so our offer is eventually better but this is Sporting Gijon damnit!It’s a modest (yet utterly cool!) liga club and we are stealing those clubs with those horrid tv contracts!
    I think this whole variable scheme in all our transfers has to do with the 45 limit that Rosell placed on heads. In the end the total amount will be 45 + all those variables which will probably be placed on next season’s transfer budget. Thas why we are not announcing any transfer so other teams negotiatiors don’t know excactly how much money we have left…*LOL*

    hey blitzen whats your twitter account?

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      June 29, 2011

      wait, I think I’ve followed you on twitter, but I forget your ID… what’s yours? 😀

      • barca96
        June 29, 2011

        Barca Girl, please bring outerspace back here.
        It looks like Euler is going to be gone to twitter land too soon.

      • Eklavya
        June 29, 2011

        Wow

      • BarcaGirl_Indo
        June 29, 2011

        AWESOME, HUH? Very proud to see that… 😀

        Why don’t you make a twitter account so you can ask by yourself to outer? 😉

      • June 29, 2011

        @missingpage3
        and yours? I’m kinda lost with the following thingy 🙂

      • barca96
        June 29, 2011

        @barcagirl

        No. I’m really ol’school. I don’t even have a FB account yet.
        I’m not into these time wasting things.

      • BarcaGirl_Indo
        June 29, 2011

        not wasting time if you use it wisely…
        it’s very informative and faster than blogs…

        like Euler said :
        “So much of the footy world has shifted from blogs to twitter”

        it’s really fun to discuss football with other fans, bloggers, and journalists… 🙂

      • BarcaGirl_Indo
        June 29, 2011

        @nanda59, that’s me… 😀

    • blitzen
      June 29, 2011

      Everyone else seems to have found me easily, but if you really need it, I am @blitzen13.

  37. Eklavya
    June 29, 2011

    So, let me get this straight. I try to make Blitzen join twitter by making a little push. Nothing happens. Jnice gives some lame history and speaks about some random mouvement and now blitz is on twitter? What?! AND on top of that I get the blame?!!? 😀

  38. K_legit
    June 29, 2011

    Yaay..blitzen joins twitter land…follow follow 😀

    • Vj
      June 29, 2011

      *Jumps on the bandwagon*

  39. can_we_go_Xalvies
    June 29, 2011

    WOW! Never have I seen so many players being valued at 45-50 mil at one time before. I mean it must be some new trending scheme, it all started with Pastore and his agent or club pres dubbing him the 50 mil dollar signing, now everywhere there are young promising players being thrusted all over the news valued at 45-50mil so far I have seen Pastore, Neymar, Sanchez, Modric and Aguero. Obviously these players are way overpriced, but there seems to be some kind of universal marketing scheme these club are using, they are taking advantage of club owners like Chelsea’s and Man City’s who are happy to outbid everyone on the “next big” marketing product, and this issue is getting massively out of control.

    The reason why Thiago lets say is being valued by the press at only 15 million is because we are not intending to sell him. I can guarantee everyone that if we wanted to sell Thiago now, we would be calling the owners of Chelsea and Man city and slapping a 30-40 mil dollar price tag all over the press. But we ain’t because we are not intending to sell him.

    This is why I fell that we should keep our interest on Sanchez and be patient, we should wait and see what moves Chelsea and Man city will make, because once the heat starts to die down on Sanchez, potentially Udinese marketing scheme becomes useless and our bid 30-35mil becomes evermore likely.

    As for Fabregas, eventhough 35-39mil is a lot of money for en ex-canterano, we are faced with a very fortunate opportunity because we are the only club in the market for him, otherwise in an open market he would be valued a lot higher then he is right now. if we are to go after another midfielder right now from elsewhere that is even as good as Fabregas right now we would never be able to buy them for anything close to 35mil and thats a fact!

    • barca96
      June 29, 2011

      otherwise in an open market he would be valued a lot higher then he is right now

      You damn right it is!!
      I am pretty sure if there was a bidding war, it would easy go over 50mill. If Sanchez and Neymar are worth 40mill plus, Cesc can easily topple them.

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      June 29, 2011

      As for Fabregas, eventhough 35-39mil is a lot of money for en ex-canterano, we are faced with a very fortunate opportunity because we are the only club in the market for him, otherwise in an open market he would be valued a lot higher then he is right now.

      indeed… while I agree that 35M is too expensive for Barcelona, that’s an insulting price according to Arsenal fans…
      gooners are really furious to hear their best player will be sold for ‘only’ £35M…

      we live in a world where Andy Carroll worth £35M, Torres £50M, and then there are people like Pozzo/Zamparini who claimed their best player is worth €50M…

      If this is an open market, I really think Arsenal could get 50-70 M from Chelsea/City… why not? Chelsea bought Torres (who had a bad season and maybe even more injury prone than Cesc) for £50M…
      this is an unfortunate condition for Arsenal, to be honest…

  40. Jnice
    June 29, 2011

    via James Horncastle (@JamesHornecastle)

    Gino Pozzo on Alexis #Sanchez “The talks with #Barcelona are going forward + we’ll find a solution with calm.”

    Pozzo asked if #mcfc have pulled out of running for Sanchez: “You should ask them, also because we’ve never dealt with City.”

    Pozzo: “The lad’s wish is to go to #Barcelona . We’ll talk again with Barcelona and then we’ll see. It’s not true that Jeffren refused Udi

  41. June 29, 2011

    Sounds like the copa america was in fact the forcing needed to close the Sanchez auction.

    Feels like a deal is close. Pozzo publicly admitting that Sanchez wants to play with barca. No way he gives up all leverage if a deal wasn’t very close. Remember last week udinese were insisting Sanchez had no preference. He’s also now trying ro make it look like jeffren didn’t reject them (despite the fact that he publicly stated something very close)

    The nonsense about man city not being involved is just great. This after just a few days ago pozzo saying man city were back again favorites. And mancini admitting they made offers This is udinese trying to help City save face. Udinese wants to be able to sell to City in the future due to their wealth. He’s willing to make himself look blatantly silly in an outright lie to spin this to make city look better.

    And mancini’s comments from yesterday about pulling out from the Sanchez deal are also spin. He is trying to make it look like city “snubbed” Sanchez and not that Sanchez wouldn’t play at city or the EPL.

    Make no mistake about it- if this deal does go through it will have happened largely because Sanchez really wanted to play with barca. He cost himself millions and forced udinese to accept a bid that was not only much less than city/cue seas in terms of gross cash but probably much less in terms of net present value due to how the barca money was structured.

    We have to wait until it’s offiial. But this has been driven by sanchez’s desire to only play for barca. It’s good to see.

  42. Leckan1
    June 29, 2011

    I think going forward, every big money signing will be a “Masherano case” where the player has to make a sacrifice financially in order to don the shirt in order for it to become feasibly. There will be no more Zlatans where Messi had to get a new contract in order to remain the best player in the squad.

    I just wonder if this strategy will work if one day we aren’t as successful.

  43. Lev
    June 29, 2011

    “I just wonder if this strategy will work if one day we aren’t as successful”

    Hmmm…interesting question. I think Barça will always have a pull on a lot of players, and even though people like to say that footballers only care about cars and money, footballers are people just like us, so there will always be those who dream of playing for one club or another.

    I think teams like Barça, Man U, Liverpool, Arsenal, Milan and EE will always have a special pull other than salary due to their history, their fans, and the legends who have worn the uniform before.

  44. June 29, 2011

    If the MD reports on the money are correct – 26m and 11m variables- it will be an expensive transfer but that said barca will have done well in terms of negotiations

    Doesn’t sound like barca increased the offer much in response to all Of udinese auctioneering. They must have been confident that sanchez was only going to sign with them.

    Given that man city, Chelsea, and inter and juve were all bidding on this player he was going to be expensive. Add on top of that the last summer before fair play – it was going to be heated in terms of market demand. So while Sanchez was expensive the alternatives were as well. And the team needed another striker One pep could play and not worry that there would be a large drop off in quality.

    Given villa’s age and the adjustment period strikers go through at barca it makes sense bringing in a 22 year old. It makes the amortization on his transfer much easier to handle.

    Sanchez doesn’t have a large track record givdn how young he is. But he is quality. Extremely talented. He adds a skill set that barca does not have , especially his explosive pace. That pace combined with his touch, skill on the ball and ability to defend are a rare combination. And even over the last season he was getting better and getting better at a rapid rate.

  45. Lev
    June 29, 2011

    “Add on top of that the last summer before fair play”….

    right…
    what do you guys make of Rosell saying we might spend (part of) next summer’s transfer budget?

    At first I thought mmm might be good. If we need the players now, better get them now then next year.

    Then again, what if next summer we need reinforcements? What if Pep leaves – the new coach does not get any good signings?

    And even more so – the simple BS of it all – if we need new players next summer can we use the summer after’s transfer budget?

    ….rrrright….

    • June 29, 2011

      This budget talk is overblown. The club had over 480m in revenue last season I believe. And I’m not dvdn sure if that accounts for the CL victory.

      And that definitely does not count the 30m per year they get from rosell selling the shirt.

      While messi is on the team the club has s chance to expand it’s global fanbase that they will not get again. And messi just happens to be playing when there is enormous economic growth in china, India and brazil. Those three countries ate around 2.5 billion people.

      Winning now with messi will do more to ensure the clubs financial future than anything else.

      Rosell has set up a narrative about him “saving” the club economically since he took over.

      I don’t buy it. And you don’t spend 80m in a summer if you are that strapped fir cash regardless of next summer’s budget

  46. June 29, 2011

    More Pozzo quotes (various sources, Tweeted by @barcastuff):

    “We only talk with Barcelona. We never opened talks with Man City because the boy only wants to join Barcelona.”

    “Jeffren included in the deal? We have not yet talked to him.”

    “The talks with Barcelona on Sanchez continue. We’ll see, it’s quite complex. He could still stay.”

    BONUS DUDGEON FROM WENGER:

    Wenger (coach Arsenal): “You had a Champions League final and only one team has beaten both of them and that is Arsenal.”

    • Eklavya
      June 29, 2011

      That Wenger quote made me laugh. Whats he’s trying to say?

    • Lev
      June 29, 2011

      hahaha. “You had a League Cup final and pretty much half of the EPL clubs have beaten both of them and those are….”

      Then again, what is he supposed to say? It is his right and duty to talk up his team as much as possible. Arsenal did beat us very well in London and they beat Man U well also.

      @Kxev – my last post got me thinking.

      I was against getting Cesc this summer but pretty much for getting him next summer. If I am not mistaken this is an opinion you share.

      So…if we are using next summer’s transfer kitty to get Cesc – isn’t it better than waiting until next summer to do so?

      Would it not be worth the 5-10 million we spend extra to have him with us one year sooner, have him learn from Xavi and Pep one year more, cure him before the way of the wenger rids him of every winning attribute in his organism?

  47. lea_terzi
    June 29, 2011

    Re: Cesc
    Mentioned many times before on this page, but it seems he is trying hard for his transfer to be win-win for both clubs he loves:

    Arsenal is getting a heap of cash for player development (and let’s admit, Wenger did give him trust and opportunities to polish his talent on the highest stage he might not have gained otherwise), but not as much as they would get from a sale in an open market;

    Barca is getting a fearsome reinforcement in midfield (and let’s admit, it was stretched a bit thin when Barca was one injury away from failure), already suited to the club’s way of play, at much cheaper than such players usually come. Not for free as they could have him if he stayed, but then again, Barca coaches didn’t have a Bojan-sized headache with player development during all these years. We get Cesc fully-baked, although a little worse for the wear due to injuries.

    For a neutral, this is classy behaviour from a top player who loves both is childhood club and the club that gave him an opportunity to shine. The bad blood around this transfer mostly resulted from the media hype, not Cesc’s words or actions.

    Unfortunately, I’m not a neutral, and for a cule to see the club splash cash on a youth product is a bitter pill to swallow. But I’m trying to look for positives 🙂

  48. Jnice
    June 29, 2011

    It’s funny because you have Mancini pretending as if Sanchez didn’t snub them. Then you have some British journos saying things like:

    #MCFC ending Sanchez interest another sign of club abandoning money-no-object policy, a year ago they would just have added £££ (@DTguardian)

    Umm, I’m pretty sure City’s offer was better than our offer to Udinese. Clearly the player’s desires were the reason City pulled out of negotiations.

  49. blitzen
    June 29, 2011

    Official: There’s a deal on the renewal of the contract of Barcelona player Thiago Alcantara (20) for two more years, until 2015 #fcblive

    YAY!!!!! Break out the cava!!!! 😀

    • Lev
      June 29, 2011

      nice

    • mom4
      June 29, 2011

      excellent!

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