This morning, Twitter was abuzz with the fact that Thiago Alacantara has signed a new agreement to stay with FC Barcelona through 2015 with his buyout requirement being raised to a rather healthy 90m Euros. This caps off a rather eventful few weeks for the MF wunderkind: he played a pivotal role in Spain’s U-21 Euro win, scoring a goal in the Final; he recently made a number of ill-timed and grossly over-read-into quotes to the media regarding his status with Barcelona due to the Cesc negotiations, which are ongoing at all times, even if you think there is a break); and is now recovering from nasal surgery to repair a deviated septum (this obviously means he had a nose job).
Thiago has just turned 20 and is legitimately considered the best youth product for the club and one of the best under-21s in the world. He will be expected to play a lot more for the parent club next year, filling in for Xavi/Iniesta, giving them breaks, and hopefully making his break. Now before you ask, we have no idea how this will affect the pursuit/lackthereof of Cesc Fabregas. Currently, Thiago’s father, former Brazilian world champion, Mazinho is saying all the right things as reported on Twitter, that he’s not worried about Cesc possibly coming in because they play different positions. It may still be possible, I am not sure.
However, this brings up one tiny fact that a lot of people are overlooking: Sandro Rosell is damn good at doing businessperson. Please note this giant, huge, Puyol’s-hair-sized warning: I do not endorse him as a good person, I think he’s xenophobia regarding outsiders among Barça socios and ideas about Catalan independence are wrong. Remember this when you misquote me on your witch hunts. Let’s go through his business decisions:
-Signing Afellay for 3m
-Signing Adriano for about 9.5m
-Signing Mascherano for 19m
-Signing Villa for 40m (Ed. note: This was a Laporta signing according to Isaiah)
-1 starter, 1 spot starter/fill-in at CB, 2 for depth
-Loan of Ibrahimovic, with sale-option this year: Pep said he had to go and we had limited buyers, did the best with a bad situation
-Toure to Man City for 24m: Yaya wanted to go, his agent made that clear, he made that clear
-Gaining the highest shirt sponsorship deal in the world: not arguing the merits, just the business, good deal.
Granted, this does not include the Chygy debacle, which I stated my opposition to at the time, and which Pep was not fond of, but I think the rest speaks for itself. Not all of these deals were popular, but they were all helpful for either goals, depth, or behind-the-scenes issues that we don’t all know about. Also, the commentary about how he’s handled deals this summer isn’t useful yet, since we do not know how they will come out or what the actual parameters are, since it’s all being reported by third-party rags.
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