Farewell, young Bojan Krkic. We hardly knew ye

That loud “thunk” that you heard was the sound of the other shoe dropping. With an arrival often comes a departure, and when Alexis Sanchez’ transfer was announced, it was widely assumed that Bojan Krkic would depart, to Roma.

And so it happened.

The deal, announced officially today, is a 12m transfer with an “obligatory” 13m buyback fee. If Roma want to buy the player and block our buyback, tack another 28m onto it, and he would then become a 40m player. Whether this is a good deal or not, depends upon one’s view of economics.

What we do know is that Krkic will link up with a coach who likes and wants to implement aspects of our system, and he will get a lot more playing time than he is getting with us. All of these things can only help his development. And the stern whetstone of Serie A will also force him to develop as a strong, direct, aggressive player, as the defenders in that league don’t brook any nonsense.

The “we hardly knew ye” is apt, as we still don’t know him and what kind of player that he is and can become. Is he the brilliant, slashing striker that he showed signs of being, or a dynamic second striker who pairs with a more traditional 9 to raise hell. Dunno. And this makes the move in many ways a bittersweet transfer, because the Boy of 1000 Goals was supposed to amount to so much more. He was promoted to the first team, came out like gangbusters and began to immediately show some of the immense promise that he offered. As his career progressed, he even became the pick over Zlatan Ibrahimovic. And unlike Gai Assulin, another wonder who is now gone, people really came to like Krkic, and there is disappointment in a lot of cule hearts today at news of the transfer.

For me, the change of venue can’t be a bad thing. The pressure of being in the club must have been so intense for him, as well as the pressure of having to live up to that stellar B Team promise. Perhaps those things contributed to his downward spiral. I can’t imagine that the decision to let him go was taken lightly, and it could certainly be assumed that the structuring of the deal is such that it’s very easy for him to come back if he pans out at Roma. Whether it’s simple confidence or setting will become apparent as the next two seasons progress. For now, all that we are left to do is wish him well, and program the DVR for Roma matches, to see how he does.

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In my fantasy life, I’m a Barca-crazed contributor over at Barcelona Football Blog. In my real life, I’m a full-time journalist at the Chicago Tribune, based in Chicago, Illinois.

215 Comments

  1. Tarik
    July 22, 2011

    I have never been big on Bojan, regardless of all the cuddly love that has been directed towards the kid. I wish him the best of luck, but I am not sad to see him go.

    • Eklavya
      July 22, 2011

      I have similar feelings. Just don’t go down a spiral at Roma too, Bojan.

  2. July 22, 2011

    Good piece of business from Rosell&co, let Milito,Jeffren,Hleb and Maxwell[probably] follow suit and pls no Cesc, with all passion, no Cesc, if he wants to come, let him tender a transfer request officially to Arsenal and make the negotiation process short and easy.

  3. mei
    July 22, 2011

    Okay.Lets try to clarify this deal because it sounds bizzare.
    It clearly has something to do with how rosell operates because similar clauses have been installed into ibrahimovic transfer too ,anyway :

    Bojan was sold for 12 million euros.
    Barcelona receives that sum right away.
    That means that barcelona has 12 million more now in the transfer kitty bag.

    This transfer includes an obligatory repurchase clause that will be exercised at the end of 2012/2013 season.
    Thats not a buy back option.
    You are obliged to bid that much at the time specified , and Roma will have to pay 28 million more to reject it.

    Its not a loan :
    As I understand it, loaning a player out means that you have to keep paying him the money his contract dictates(either the club that he was loaned to contributes or not is irrelevant.)

    This is a sale, meaning Bojan will negotiate a new contract with Roma.
    Who will have to accept a 13 million bid after two years, unless they want to pay 28 million more.
    And Barcelona must bid that sum because they agreed to.

    Yet one party that seems to be able to block that deal without repercussions is Bojan – if he rejects the contract offer from Barcelona when the inevitable 13 million bid is made.

    • FalseNine
      July 22, 2011

      If we are really are forced to repurchase him, then he’s very likely coming back — unless Roma ponies up another €28 million.

      But Bojan didn’t sound like a guy who’s coming back. He sounded like he was leaving for good, not going away a couple years on a glorified loan deal. Are we really sure the word “obligatory” means Barça is obliged to buy, rather than Roma is obliged to sell if Barça chooses to buy? The latter would make a lot more sense to me.

      • mei
        July 22, 2011

        look out : A transfer requires three parties to agree.
        Two clubs and the player side.
        While Barcelona have agreed to bid 13 million for Bojan nothing is mentioned about what type of contract shall they propose to the player at that time, or how unacceptable can it be 😛

        It will all clear out as soon as Bojan signs his contract. If its more than two year long, what I have described is probably accurate.

        • FalseNine
          July 22, 2011

          I see… so you are saying if Barça doesn’t want him back, they bid the obliged €13 million, then offer Bojan a salary of 2 euros a year plus bubble gum money?

          Seems needlessly complicated to me, but what do I know. 😀

          Seems it would be in Bojan’s interest to sign the longest contract he can no matter what, though. There’s always a chance he stays at Roma, and he might as well have something negotiated.

          • mei
            July 22, 2011

            Thats my guess.
            His contract will most definitely be longer than a two year one since if it is a 2 year contract he will be a free agent then. Why offer money for a free agent to a team?
            This clause just seems like a stronger buyback option.

      • July 22, 2011

        from his point of view, one could say that he’s had enough, indeed.

        sadly, we lost him.

    • ak
      July 23, 2011

      Actually we don’t receive that sum right away. Roma has to pay 12m before July 1, 2013. Not that it should make too much of a difference.

  4. tutomate
    July 22, 2011

    I’m so dumb. I was still commenting on the previous post. Nothing worthy of repeating though.

    Farewell Bobo.

  5. simple_barcafan
    July 22, 2011

    lol..I never knew understanding a transfer can be so difficult..

  6. FalseNine
    July 22, 2011

    Interesting that Bojan mentions being left out of the CL final as a reason for leaving. I remember thinking when Ibi was brought in during extra time that this was a statement from Pep about who was in favor and who had fallen out of favor. Seems Bojan got the same message.

    Nice that he can leave while still saying respectful things about Pep, despite obviously feeling disillusioned. Farewell, kiddo.

    • Vj
      July 22, 2011

      Pretty obvious who was gonna be favored. Ibi assisted the game unlocking goal in a CL semi against EE. Bojan was injured..

      • FalseNine
        July 22, 2011

        Bojan was on the roster though, and Ibi subbed in two minutes into extra time. I’m sure Bojan could have limped out there for the same sixty seconds if that’s what Pep had wanted.

        No arguments about the reason for favoritism, though. Ibi deserved it. Look at the other two people Pep subbed in, all after the 85th minute: Puyi, our capitain, and Keita, who we all know is Pep’s favorite human being. All three subs sent pretty clear messages.

      • blitzen
        July 22, 2011

        It wasn’t about who was “in favour”. Pep doesn’t work like that. Afellay was rewarded with the time (a few seconds only, really) because in the short time he had been with the team he had done everything asked of him, worked hard, and made a major contribution to being there at all with the assist in the semifinal game. He deserved to be recognized for that.

        And it’s not an either/or. Bojan wouldn’t have been satisfied with those few seconds either. He wanted to start in the final, not have a cameo at the end. I don’t know in what world he thinks he deserved to, though, after the season he had.

        • Lev
          July 22, 2011

          hold on…he hasn’t actually said he deserved to, right? It is logical for him to be disappointed after the little playing time he has received over the last 3 seasons, and being part of a team for 4 seasons without playing in the two biggest games they played.

          • blitzen
            July 22, 2011

            He said, as per below, they “Haven’t been fair” with him and that he disagreed with some of the coaches’ decisions. I read between the lines. YMMV.

            He also sulked his way through the Euro U-21 when he didn’t get the playing time he wanted, and the NT coach had something to say about that if you recall.

        • FalseNine
          July 22, 2011

          I’m sure Bojan wanted to start, everybody does, but what he said was that he was disappointed he didn’t get to play. I’m sure he would have liked 90 minutes, or 45, or 20, but even a couple of minutes, I believe, would have meant something to him. Only someone in fantasy land would think he would start over MVP in the final, and I don’t think Bojan’s living in that alternate universe. But I do think he would have appreciated the gesture of a few minutes.

          He said: “the many times they haven’t been fair with me and that’s one of the reasons why I have decided to leave. One of the last resorts was not getting to play in the final at Wembley”

          http://www.fcbarcelona.com/web/english/noticies/futbol/temporada11-12/07/22/n110722118504.html

        • Vj
          July 22, 2011

          Yeah, that’s what I said. Pep decided to go in favour of Ibi. Sematics..

  7. Lev
    July 22, 2011

    Another thing not to overlook is that if Roma wants to keep him after 2 yrs, and Barça don’t want to pay 13M to get him back then who is to say whether Barça will reaaally ask 28M.

    Anyway I really hope Bojan will succeed at Roma. I am neither convinced that he will, nor that he won’t, but I do hope so. Best case scenario he will have really improved and will come back to Barça 🙂

    • flyzowee
      July 22, 2011

      Theres competition in Roma – lots of strikers

      I dunno how Enrique is gonna set up the team but whatever happens, my only prayer is that bojan ends up in some kind of strike partnership.

      Heaven knows he cant play up there on his own.

    • ak
      July 23, 2011

      Exactly, the 40m is a security policy for Barça in case Bojan turns out to be a real crack.
      If not, a deal could be done for 20-25m max.

  8. Josep
    July 22, 2011

    One of the stranger transfers in recent times..

    Okay first off is this a confirmed sale or loan? I’ll try to cover the options…
    Sale (as stated above)
    We just sold Bojan to Roma for 12m. He signs a new contract.
    We are REQUIRED (obligated?) to buy him back in 2 years for 13m. He signs a new contract.
    If Roma wants him still, they pay an additional 28m. He signs a new contract.

    This makes little sense to me. So in essence..if they want Bojan for 3 years or more they’re paying 27m?

    Loan
    We’ve loaned Bojan to Roma, for 2 seasons, with 12m being paid upfront to accept the loan.
    In two years time…Barca can buy him back for 13m. The only thing is.. if the 12m is upfront..that’s not the buyout fee. How can Barca pay 13m for a player that’s technically still theirs?
    Then if Barca pay the 13m Roma can throw 28m to retain him?

    So loan = wtf still?

    Then the things we’ve heard and discussed on the twitter.

    Roma has BOUGHT Bojan for 12m..
    The 12m won’t be paid until the end of the 2012-2013 season saving Barca 5-6m in wages on Bojan.
    Barca are then obligated to buy him back, the player they only technically sold that same summer, for 13m.
    So Barca are down 1m in transfer fees, but up a few m in wages.
    Then, if in the end Roma decide he’s in their future, they can bid an additional 28m. 28-13 = 15. So they’d in the end be paying 27m for Bojan to stay long term.

    The only thing I’ve thought would make sense is the following..

    Bojan has been sold to Roma for 12m.
    Barca have a buy back (option? obligatory?) for 13m that expires(forced?) in 2 years time.

    If, in the end, Roma are pleased with Bojan and find him worth the cause they can pay 28m to FORCE Bojan not to leave. Keep in mind they can always bid less and have it accepted. This is a peculiar transfer. Weigh in folks.

    • Josep
      July 22, 2011

      and it looks like Jeremy Menez is on his way out of Roma so I wouldn’t be surprised to see Bojan swapping the left with possibly Vucinic..or the right with Taddei and Guberti.

      Or of course up top with Totti and Borriello. his versatility is key for him these next two years.

  9. Ryan
    July 22, 2011

    You can put me in the boat that’s sad to see him go, but glad that he might be given a chance elsewhere. There’s so much talent in the kid, but he really needs to get his head sorted out.

    • mom4
      July 22, 2011

      If they could just get well enough to play for 2 minutes in DC. Just two minutes. That’s all I’m asking for. Xavi especially. Take the field for two minutes so I can scream a little and I’ll be happy. Not too much to ask for, right?

  10. nzm
    July 22, 2011

    Sanchez being presented to the fans at Camp Nou between 2pm – 2:30pm Barcelona time on Monday afternoon – following the medical, contract signing and press conference.

  11. Gogah
    July 22, 2011

    this is and will be a good thing for barca and bojan. only thing is how the Roma fans and players are reacting to all this. lucho must play his cards close to his chest for risk of a total disaster. this deal is very vague much like the Ibra deal. whats with that? are we getting 24M or just 8M or is he coming back or what?

    • Gogah
      July 22, 2011

      The magnitude of stupidity, that was the Ibra deal, not just when buying, but even when offloading (selling), still baffles me. Even after yet another league medal, another 20+ goal season, we could have easily sold him to Mancini who wanted him at city. We could have even swapped him with Arsenal for cesc 😀 😀

      • Lev
        July 22, 2011

        yeah but Ibra didn’t want to go to City, so there’s that…

        I have argued though that we should just have sat him in the stands for 6 months so that he would change his mind and accept a City offer.

  12. providence
    July 22, 2011

    from his conference it seems he had a problem with Guardiola,and he had a sad face

  13. Dani_el
    July 22, 2011

    From what I’ve read, we will not receive anything this year, Bojan will play for Roma for the next 2 years, after that we will be paying Roma 1 million if we want him back, but Roma can buy him for 39M (40m less the 1 we own them, this way we dont have to pay his salary this two years, like 6M, and he gains experience). The 12 and 13M pay-up is nominally in the contract (I dont know if it is the appropiate term) as we could receive 12M now, but as the buy back clause is a must, it’s silly to receive 12M and pay 13M in 2 years. I hope he does well in Roma, and he comes back more mature and with more confidence. Sadly I dont think Pep will be in Barça when he comes back.

    • Dani_el
      July 22, 2011

      “La Roma no pagará ahora

      El último elemento que hace más compleja la operación es el pago del traspaso de Bojan. Según ha explicado ‘La Gradería’ y también ha podido saber SPORT, la Roma no abonará ni un euro hasta dentro de dos años al Barça. De esta manera, la realidad es que tras la temporada 2012/2013 el Barça pagará un millón para que vuelva Bojan salvo que, entonces sí, la Roma pague 40 millones por él.”

      http://www.sport.es/es/noticias/barca/20110722/bojan-jugador-roma/1089239.shtml

      • July 22, 2011

        As I understand the Sport story, it’s technically a loan, however the deal is otherwise couched. Or more like a rental. They “buy” him for 12m even though no money changes hands, then we buy him back in two years for 13m. So whatever his salary is we get out from under, something that we must deem is worth 1m.

        This is a crazy deal. It’s a new contract rather than a loan, however, as noted above. I’m not sure that I get it, so it must have something to do with us saying that Roma paid us 12m for Krkic, and us using that money (that we don’t actually get) for some other purpose.

        Or not. I’m very confused, but numbers tend to make the journalist in me get all queasy.

        • Lev
          July 22, 2011

          In that case i am a lot less happy with the deal. Why would we pay Roma 1M for two years of Krkic. Is this like a tuition fee or something??

          • Dani_el
            July 22, 2011

            I think the reasoning behind this deal is to save his wage (He earned before his new contract, that I believe we had him sign only last year, less than 2M, but I think he was earning something like 3M, so we might save 6M (or 5 discounting what we have to pay roma) for this 2 years, and he earns experience, and hopefully Luis Enrique will give him the minutes he requires to grow as a player. I don’t think is a great deal…let’s hope the numbers work to sign Cesc and maybe the defender we need (I think having Fontas on the first team and Bartra there waiting to come up, have convinced Pep not to sign a defender). Still I’m wary of the numbers.

        • July 23, 2011

          I wonder how much of this was driven by Bojan. If he was open to moving only to Roma, that would have tied our hands in the negotiations. (Similar to what Sanchez seems to have done to Udinese.)

    • mom4
      July 22, 2011

      *hands tissue* It’s for the best. Really.

    • jordi™
      July 22, 2011

      Me too buddy but look at this way, its set up that bojan has the opportunity to become a man in Rome and in 2013 if he does well there he gets another crack of the whip at FCB, by which time villa should be being phased out.Worse case is he doesn’t do well, we buy him back and sell him to another club in Spain where he goes on to have a good career.

  14. jaymin
    July 22, 2011

    I’ve come around to agreeing with you lot. Fabregas’ conduct has been passive, indifferent, and disrespectful in the extreme. I love him, and he obviously wants to play for Barca. So I want him to be happy. But why this chickenshit campaign? asking your friends to do the work for you, while you chill on the sides? i don’t even know how I feel. I wish barca would bid more, get this all done and dusted. i suspect however, that you guys are concerned with his hamstrings?

    • Lev
      July 22, 2011

      I don’t completely agree. Don’t forget that his Arsenal’s CAPTAIN. I would be extreeeemely upset if Puyol would openly demand a transfer while he had 3, 4 yrs left on his contract.

      • July 22, 2011

        If the Puyol situation arose as mentioned by Lev, I would say “Good riddance.”

        @jaymin: Not all of us want Fabregas, it’s worth noting. I don’t. We need defenders more than another person sitting in the infirmary.

        It’s also worth noting that the players are responding to press questions. Nobody is volunteering any Fabregas information, but if they are asked, they speak their minds.

        Last I heard, the two sides were a “mere” 3m apart. And yes, there is valid concern about his state of health and well-being. Justifiably, I’d say. Dude can’t stay healthy.

    • mom4
      July 22, 2011

      Concerned with his hamstrings, his lack of spine throughout this, his pricetag…
      That being said, I’m sooooo tired of the soap opera. It could be worth the money just to never have to hear the phrase tapping up and the name Cesc again in the same sentence. Additionally, I don’t like the fact that Xavi is injured already and hasn’t even practiced yet. Maybe we need him more than we know???
      Just do it, RoSell, so we don’t have to go through this crap again next silly season.

    • FalseNine
      July 22, 2011

      Behind all the posturing from various sides, it seems apparent the real issue is just money: Arsenal have asked for £40 million, and Barça have offered £35 million. That’s not really a big gap. Now that the Alexis/Bojan correlated deals are finished, I expect these teams are going to meet in the middle pretty soon. As soon as next week, say.

  15. Lev
    July 22, 2011

    (he’s – not his – Arsenal’s captain, duh)

  16. July 22, 2011

    I think this deal is great for us. However unlikely, if Bojan goes and bags 20 a season the next two years in rome and becomes beloved in the capital, I would love 28M for him!!!!

  17. Judas Pissed
    July 22, 2011

    Sheesh. I read in the worlds press that we did ok & got a good deal for Bojan, that we have landed one of the most sought after attackers in the world for millions less than Udinese wanted, & that we are on the verge of signing a midfielder who will quickly become a lynchpin of our team for almost the next decade – and then I come to this board & read all the moaning, complaining & dissecting and suddenly don’t feel so good about the Barca world anymore..

    At this moment it’s great to be a Barca fan – so cheer up!

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      July 22, 2011

      I’m not, I’m happy… 😀

      We got Alexis Sanchez and a good deal for Bojan…

      Will be a lot happier if we buy a CB though… 😉

  18. nzm
    July 22, 2011

    Barca TV has been repeating the Bojan press conference all day, mixed together with clips from his goals from when he was a wee tyke all the way to last season. It’s enough to make me cry. 😐

  19. outerspacedout
    July 22, 2011

    I think ‘obligatory buy-back’ is just legal language for what type of buy-back deal this is, as in this is one where if Barcelona want to buy him back in 2012/13 Roma are obliged to return him, unless they pay 28mil and block it. You know how legal terms have to be very specific, and what I would think is that it’s just making it specific that Roma are obliged to sell him if Barca want to and bid the 13mil as opposed to say any other kind of buy-back deal which uncommon or not must surely exist. Same as ‘option to buy back’ but different legal teams of different clubs might well phrase it differently. I know there are a lot of words that in legal language are used to just specify things you’d normally assume anyway since they have to be completely specific, and this seems to me like one.

    Google was unhelpful as to definitions of transfer terms.

    I don’t think it’s making it a must for us to bid for him. Scenarios I see are, Bojan flops and we get 12mil for him. Bojan becomes amazing as in a 40mil+ forward, and we get 40mil for him.

    Or what I think could happen, which is Bojan becomes a very good but not 40mil player- say a 25mil or 30mil player- in which case we get him back for just 1mil total spent minus the wages for two years. Because then Roma have the option of forgoing the +13mil we’d pay for him and the -28mil they’d have to fork out to keep him, or taking 41mil they could use elsewhere and using that to improve their squad, and they’d probably take that choice then. In which case we get a 25mil or so player for pretty much nothing.

    I won’t believe random reports in Sport etc as anything more than conjecture just like all the other crap Marca/Sport/EMD/AS report, and assume that it’s this simplest possible option. Ie its just a buy-back option like our deals with Botia or Madrid deals with Getafe, with a specific legal term being used in the statement that just means the usual run-of-the-mill style buy-back deal only giving Roma some protection of at least being able to keep the player in the very small chance he turns out to be unbelievably good.

  20. July 22, 2011

    what a heartfelt article from you Kxevin ahah, i still believe you have no heart (for Bojan)

    as to this whole 3 years plus saga, what is there left to say?

    only some clarifications. Pep never had Bojan in his plans when he took over, of that i am sure. the way he dealt with this issue is precisely the way Pep handles uncomfortable situations. see list of botched transfers.

    my feeling is that the board had a lot to do with keeping Bojan 2 more years (let’s say the 1st was just a testdrive, not entirely unsuccessful), since Bojan had indeed shown a lot of talent (and you needn’t search further than 2007-2008 season, playing at 17 with the big boys, in big games) and we don’t sell our Masia players.

    Bojan too, must’ve wanted to stay. what player in his right mind would leave this club right now, or 2 years ago? more than half his life, he’s been a Barca player. leaving that behind must be awfully hard. some players can sit on the bench for trophies, but it’s obvious he can’t

    it was obvious that he was gonna leave when he was interviewed post last game and said that sort of goodbye.

    it is for the best. perhaps he is not suited for Barca after all. i hope and believe he will shine through though and prove himself.

    as for the “buy back”, i have the (bad) feeling that it will not be activated. he’ll refuse to come back. and then, it’d be our loss.

    • tutomate
      July 23, 2011

      Just like other clubs we sell a lot of our Masia players. Unfortunately not all can make it in the big time. The good things is that we do try to promote more than most other teams. We look to our Masia first and market second.

    • The__K__Man
      July 23, 2011

      I think Pep has given the boy lots of chances and then some more. Isn’t giving him the place of our 70 million Euro signing Ibra enough?

    • Ryan
      July 23, 2011

      Pep tried to include Bojan in his plans, but the kid just could not get anything right. Don’t forget that horrible stretch where he couldn’t stand on his feet, let alone score. When Villa or Pedro was injured, Bojan just couldn’t fill in.

      • blitzen
        July 23, 2011

        Exactly. I think Pep had a lot of “feeling” for the kid and did his best to give him every chance he could (even when we spectators were howling for him to be benched), but there was no way he could give Bojan the amount of minutes he felt he deserved.

        What it really comes down to is that Bojan was promoted too soon. Rijkaard saddled Pep with an unripe kid who was brilliant but inconsistent and didn’t have the mental or physical toughness to be a first-choice pick. If it had been Pep’s decision, Bojan would probably not have been promoted at all until 2009/10 or even 2010/11. As things were, he did his best to continue Bojan’s development and give him as many minutes as he could, while also attending to his main job of building a trophy-winning team in the middle of intense worldwide competition. It’s no wonder he went with MVP more than he maybe should have–there was a lot riding on every single game.

        I felt some of Bojan’s comments were whiny and self-pitying, but I am inclined to be forgiving, as he is only human, and for a kid who has been told all his life that he is a star to realize that he is surplus to requirements must be quite a shock and upsetting. He’ll grow up some in Rome and I hope he does really well there. Lucho certainly won’t be inclined to mollycoddle him, and he won’t be the “wonderboy” anymore, so he will have the chance to grow into the player we know he can be. Whether that player will ever be right for Barcelona, who knows?

        • Miguel
          July 23, 2011

          I felt some of Bojan’s comments were whiny and self-pitying, but I am inclined to be forgiving, as he is only human

          You’re too awesome, blitz.
          😛

  21. Jnice
    July 23, 2011

    Oriol Romeu to Chelsea (teams agreed terms) http://www.chelseafc.com/page/Latest…399857,00.html

    I really think this kid has a bright future. I’m not happy with this, but I hope he plays over there and we buy him back.

  22. Jim
    July 23, 2011

    Woke up to find Sky Sports reporting that we are already selling Cesc number 4 shirts on our official website and that Wenger is bound to be furious. Turns out it came from the Daily Star ( I know . . ) and on going to their website it became obvious that this was not all it seemed. I went to our official store and it turns out that they aren’t selling Cesc shirts but you can personalise your shirt with any number/name you want.

    Talk about awful journalism . . ..

    All that aside, it looks like it is going to happen and count me in the delighted camp if it does. If we get him for 35m brilliant, if 40 then I can’t think of many other players in the world that I’d rather have for that money. Aside from Rooney, I reckon he’s the best player in the EPL and that’s not a ridiculous price for that.

    With regard to Bojan, it’s sad for him on a personal level but I can’t see him coming back. I also can’t see where he feels he’s been hard done by. He was allowed to bench Dinho which raised expectations to a ridiculous level but that’s the only place where I’d fault the club. As I said way back then ( on the old Offside) I’d like to believe but I can’t see which of his skills are world class – pace, dribbling, strength, height ? Still, he obviously loved the club so well done to him for that and best wishes.

    • Jnice
      July 23, 2011

      Woke up to find Sky Sports reporting that we are already selling Cesc number 4 shirts on our official website and that Wenger is bound to be furious. Turns out it came from the Daily Star ( I know . . ) and on going to their website it became obvious that this was not all it seemed. I went to our official store and it turns out that they aren’t selling Cesc shirts but you can personalise your shirt with any number/name you want.

      Shocking journalism.

      As for Fab, you really think it’s going to happen? I don’t think Arsenal is budging from that 40m valuation and I don’t see us upping our bid to meet that either.

      • flyzowee
        July 23, 2011

        Romas official site says we only get our 12m in 2013.

        So our current transfer kitty aka the Prodigal Catalan Fund is unaffected by bojans move

        • mei
          July 23, 2011

          Not necessarily.
          A little bit of accounting but, you can write that sum into your books although you havent received it yet.
          For example you can offer a club 12 million for a transfer that will get paid in 2013.
          Clubs do pay their transfer fees not in one piece anyway.

          • flyzowee
            July 23, 2011

            Okay im not sure i fully understand the structure of this deal. But answer me this –

            Do we or do we not have 12m in cold cash at our immediate disposal?

          • blitzen
            July 23, 2011

            Like I said on twitter, people need to stop thinking about clubs tossing sacks of gold at each other. Money isn’t real, it’s just numbers. You move a number from one side of a book to another, the colour changes from black to red…there! Payment made!

      • Jim
        July 23, 2011

        I sometimes think these things gain a momentum of their own, Jnice. Sky talked last week to Arsenal fans, none of whom were really against the move, Wenger is under pressure from the Arsenal board to start spending and there seems to be general consensus that Cesc thought that the transfer would be allowed to proceed this summer. Add that to the stated desire of Rosell to bring him here and those are pretty powerful motivators. We also only seem to be around 5m apart which isn’t much in a transfer like this. Mind you, not sure we’d be wise to offer to play friendlies in London as part of the deal 🙂

        There’s a part of me ( only part) which has some sympathy for Fabregas. I hadn’t released until Graham Hunter’s interview that he was paying for his own private medical support as he isn’t sure Arsenal’s is up to scratch. I think we’ll find out over the next couple of days. It’ll become embarrassing for us if it is allowed to go on much longer.

        • July 23, 2011

          This will end before August 16/17 because that’s when Arsenal play their CL qualifiers. Well, IMO, anyway.

  23. mei
    July 23, 2011

    This deal is very strange.
    Unless we know what must, what can and what cannot be exercised we wont understand it.
    And theres little chance of the clubs disclosing what cant be done in this deal which is quite important.
    Tbh we already have more information than most deals that happen.

  24. Huckleberry
    July 23, 2011

    from barcastuff:

    Official: AS Roma confirm the transfer of Barcelona forward Bojan Krkic (20), who signs a contract until 2015. (until 2015!)

    Official: Roma will pay Barcelona 12M on 1 July 2013. Barcelona can buy Bojan back for 17M in 2012 and has to buy him back for 13M in 2013. (has to buy back in 2013)

    Official: If Barcelona decide to buy Bojan back, Roma can still keep him by paying an extra 28M in 2013 and 2014

    Official: Bojan will earn a fixed 3.2M a year from 2011 until 2013, and 6.3M from 2013 until 2015. Besides that there are also incentives.

    Ok. If that all is true, it is in fact a loan.
    Bojan has a contract till 2015 with a fixed income, either in Roma or in Barcelona.
    If he shines in his first year in Roma, Barça can buy him back and Roma makes a little profit (5M)
    If he shines in his second year, Roma can decide if he is worth another 28M (or can bargain with Barcelona).
    If he fails within his first two years in Roma, Barça has to take him back regardless and has to pay his huge salary for the next two year till 2015.

    The easiest way to discribe this deal is still a loan for two years with a success-bonus for Roma of 5M if Barça wants Bojan back after the first year (and Bojans break-through) and a buy-option for Roma for 40M after the end of the loan in 2013.

    • Lev
      July 23, 2011

      ok. maybe i am stupid but this sounds like a horrible deal for Barça in which we are taking all the risks and Roma gets all the benefits.

      I think that if he fails in Roma 2 yrs from now Barça will try to sell him at a loss to avoid paying his salary.

    • Lou
      July 23, 2011

      Wait, isn’t it more of a two year loan (plus Barca pays 1 Million extra) with a 28 million euro purchase option for Roma in 2012, or would they have to pay the 12 million euros again?

      Rosell appears to be a master of confusing accounting practices…

  25. Huckleberry
    July 23, 2011

    The clou of the complicated deal seems to be that Barça has an account of 12M in his books for two years. Some sort of creative bookkeeping…

  26. July 23, 2011

    uuffff, how should i begin…

    many of us here saw a loan deal was perfect for Bojan, but then this complicated permanent-but-buyback-possible-if-clubs-agree-but-still-blockable-deal came out and we ship Bobo to Olimpico. Not sure if this could be seen as a loan deal, or “renting a space” for him as Ramzi tweeted. but given all the changes in Roma, Bojan found the best developmental team for him, and we should all be happy about it.

    I am also very happy to see the upgrade. a huge huge upgrade on our team. we start pedro, have afellay as sub, boji sits. and now a very strong A-Lexus came to boost the competition and increase a much more wild card on our team. I saw some CL semi against that other spanish team the other day. those plays went from iniesta to messi, back to xavi, brilliant one-twos, to messi, and when it reaches guaje or pedro, it recycled. then the ball goes to messi and everything depend on what he could do to make things happen. but now Sanchez may give us more surprise and options. but we will see how this upgrade will help us, or if it will work or not.

    • barca96
      July 23, 2011

      Finally you’re back. You’ve basically been out for most of last season too after the 1st quarter of the season or so.

  27. JoachimD
    July 23, 2011

    Soccernet and voetbalzone.nl is reporting that Oriel Romeu as been sold to Chelsea for 5m but with a buy-back clause of 8m, if enforced up to 2 years. Seems to be a good deal, Romeu gets playing time (hopefully) in a physical league (good for DMCs) and if he performs Barça can buy him back for a reasonable price.

    • July 23, 2011

      But here is the question: Will Romeu jump right into the first team at Chelsea? And isn’t shipping a 19 year old to England a bit risky? For me, I would always enjoy seeing a youth product go to teams like Zaragoza, Getafe or Levante and get a starting position rather than risk him never starting. Thoughts?

      • beeeef
        July 23, 2011

        This may sound funny, but I trust AVB will give Romeu his fair share of chances. Kid is talented, period. It’s no coincidence The Group One has been following him since he was at Porto. And with Essien out and Mikel as his only real competition, I wouldn’t be surprised if he made at least 30+ appearances next season.

        But if it were up to me, I would have kept him around. Jnice’s comments ultimately reflect my own on the matter:

        “I really think this kid has a bright future. I’m not happy with this, but I hope he plays over there and we buy him back.”

        • beeeef
          July 23, 2011

          I should add that I’m a little biased because he’s my favorite B-team player.

      • outerspacedout
        July 23, 2011

        Romeu is getting loads of playing time as it stands. Chelsea play with three midfielders. They have Essien, Ramires, Mikel and Lampard. Essien is out injured for at least the next half season. So they only have three starters for three slots, Romeu is getting plenty playing time in there for sure unless Chelsea buy other midfielders. And even if they buy one more midfielder, he’ll still get much better time than we’d expect. Considering Lampard’s age and fitness.

        • outerspacedout
          July 23, 2011

          As it stands I mean he looks set to get loads as things stand.

    • Helge
      July 23, 2011

      Maybe we’ll get the 5m in 2013, just like the deal with Bojan…

      I don’t think he’ll be a starter, as there is still Jon Obi Mikel, for instance, who also plays as a defensive midfielder.

  28. FalseNine
    July 23, 2011

    Rumor is the deal was closed when Roma said they would not send the €12 million until 2013, but they were sending ten boxes of color copier toner now.

  29. FalseNine
    July 23, 2011

    Here is the total deal, from the mouth of Roma:

    “A.S. Roma S.p.A. announce a contract with Barcelona to buy player Bojan Krkic Perez for €12m, to be paid before July 1 2013.

    “As part of this agreement, Barcelona have an exclusive option to buy back the player at a cost of €17m in 2011-12 or €13m in 2012-13, to be paid in two instalments on January 31 and May 31 2014.

    “This option to buy back is mandatory for Barcelona for the second season, but includes a counter-option for Roma to maintain rights to his sporting performances.

    “Roma’s option is to be taken up by June 20 2013 for another €28m to be paid in three instalments on July 1 2013, January 31 2014 and July 31 2014.

    “As for the player, he has agreed a four-year contract which expires on June 30 2015 worth €3.2m for 2011-12 and 2012-13, then €6.3m from 2013-14 to 2014-15, in addition to individual performance-related bonuses.”

    Money later, optional €17M buyback next year, mandatory €13M buyback in two years, everything scheduled in installments.

    http://www.football-italia.net/jul23p.html

  30. outerspacedout
    July 23, 2011

    I’m so proud of Maldives :’) they’re playing Iran with the likes of Karimi in World Cup qualifiers and currently at half time have managed to hold them to scoring just one goal and having only three shots at target against us

  31. Lev
    July 23, 2011

    I think Romeu will get more playing time at Chelsea than at Barça.

    Sure, Mikel should start most games while Essien is injured, but at Barça there is no way he will play instead of either Busi or Masch, both of whom are not particularly injury-prone (knock knock knock).

    Last season Masch played all the cup games while Busi started most of the league games. If both are healthy I don’t see Romeu taking away pt from either of them.

    Don’t forget that Chelsea don’t only play in the F.A. cup, but in the league cup as well 😉

    As for going to Zaragoza, Getafe or any other Spanish side I would like that as well, but the sad truth is that other than EE and Barça most Spanish clubs are b r o k e 🙁

    • outerspacedout
      July 23, 2011

      It’s not just direct competition with Mikel for that one spot too, he’d be slotting in in any of the three midfield slots I would think. All they have is Mikel Ramires and Lampard, then McEachran. Last season they played Mikel Ramires Essien when Lampard was out. My point being if Romeu is up to scratch he’ll probably be subs for not just Mikel but whichever of the three is injured/rested.

  32. Miguel
    July 23, 2011

    Barcelona line-up (official): Valdes – Dalmau Armando Fontas Abidal Lobato – DosSantos Carmona Keita – Thiago Villa Afellay

    • Miguel
      July 23, 2011

      Isn’t that too many people?

      I don’t think Abidal is starting.

    • outerspacedout
      July 23, 2011

      Surely we’re not playing a 5-3-3, so.. Dalmau full name is Dalmau Armando?

    • blitzen
      July 23, 2011

      Amazing dribble by Deulofeu there! Too bad Morata couldn’t put it in.

      • blitzen
        July 23, 2011

        They got it right this time. GOOOOOLLLLL!!!!!

        • blitzen
          July 23, 2011

          And another GOOOLLLLL!!!!

          Well, that’s a fine start.

          • blitzen
            July 23, 2011

            And a third GOOLLLL!!!! And a fourth!

            Hat-trick Morata! I feel a little hard-done-by on Deulofeu’s behalf, he put most of the work in for 2 of those goals, he should have one for himself.

            Serbia is a mess.

  33. FalseNine
    July 23, 2011

    First post of the year for Villa 🙂

  34. Miguel
    July 23, 2011

    Villa off the post! Great shot from outside the box.

  35. yana
    July 23, 2011

    That would have been a fantastic goal. Instead, Villa has his first post of the season…

  36. Miguel
    July 23, 2011

    Pep’s in preseason attire.

    What do we think of the new uniforms? I think they’re growing on me. Not that I’d ever buy a jersey of anything.

    • Noslehcimretep
      July 23, 2011

      I really miss Valdes in black, not feeling the green. That being said, I’m looking forward to seeing the rest of the team in the black away kit.

  37. barca96
    July 23, 2011

    I am sorry for being off topic but Deaulefeu is tearing it up at Euro U19’s with Sarabia from EE (Getafe bound).

  38. Miguel
    July 23, 2011

    Villa should’ve done more with that corner…

    Great shot from Thiago! Good job getting into the box.

  39. July 23, 2011

    Sorry about the absence of a LoveBlob, folks. I’m working (Amy Winehouse dead), Isaiah is almost certainly screwing off somewhere, and the rest of the Team is scattered to the busy winds.

    On the up side, Villa seems to be picking up right where he left off. Shoot, dude! 😀

    • Vj
      July 23, 2011

      Isaiah is almost certainly screwing off somewhere

      Seems about right..

      Wait Amy Winehouse dead?

    • Miguel
      July 23, 2011

      Amy Winehouse? No way. My friend was her for Halloween last year. That sucks.

    • K_legit
      July 23, 2011

      member of the 27 club it seems..and amazing how Keith Richards is trending on twitter because of it

      • mei
        July 23, 2011

        Its not because of some number , its the drug abuse.
        Who even cares more than 100 people were murdered yesterday in oslo.

        • Noslehcimretep
          July 23, 2011

          that’s how I feel, I was saddened to see Winehouse headlines over the Oslo ones…

    • Noslehcimretep
      July 23, 2011

      that was Pinto. But also bosslike.

      • Vj
        July 23, 2011

        Damn these shitty streams. Not able to even see his braids!

  40. Miguel
    July 23, 2011

    Second half line-up: Pinto – Balliu Rosell Abidal Maxwell – Riverola Busquets Iniesta – Cuenca Soriano Jeffren

    • K_legit
      July 23, 2011

      maybe its the shite streams but I don’t mind them to be honest

      • Noslehcimretep
        July 23, 2011

        it’s the streams, we’re obviously going for the blehgrana look.

    • Miguel
      July 23, 2011

      Why is he playing? Seeing him still at the club makes me so angry.

      • K_legit
        July 23, 2011

        well to be fair to Jeffren, he has been pretty effective on the left side of attack so far

        • Miguel
          July 23, 2011

          Don’t care. He is dead to me. 😛

  41. y2k156
    July 23, 2011

    Good to see Barca back in action. Shirts are not that bad. QF is not that big on shirts.

    We controlled the match. Second half was much better but it also had to do with more first 11 players being on pitch and that too in critical areas. Villa was good in first half and i really liked Dalmau. Iniesta was fab in second half and also Soriano was good. Thiago was excellent too.

    Afellay was trying too hard in first half and was not impressive. Jeffren showed again why we want to sell him. He has good skills but something is missing.

    Would have liked few goals:).

  42. ciaran
    July 23, 2011

    I just fell over trying to get my head around the Bojan deal.
    How can it be that we are obligated to buy Bojan?
    Poor Bojan doesn’t really know anything about his future other than he is definitely going to be playing for Roma next year.
    What will happen if someone wants to buy Bojan next year for example? Technically Roma will own him.
    What ever happened to actually buying a player?

  43. Ryan
    July 23, 2011

    Wow, Paolo Guerrero just scored a hat trick for Peru. Unless Suarez lights it up in the final, it looks like he’ll be the top scorer of the Copa America. I was kinda hoping Aguerro would sneak away with joint top scorer with 3 goals. 😛

    • Dani_el
      July 23, 2011

      He’s the top goal scorer as of now. I hope he’s regarded as the best player in Copa America, as with Forlan in the WC, Guerrero and Vargas carried the team with their experience and courage.

  44. Dani_el
    July 23, 2011

    Dont like the shirts, the golden words “qatar foundation”…well.. at least he have unicef on the back. Nice movements for Jeffren, Thiago, Iniesta, Abi! We have to look on Soriano, it was nice to see the team after so long!

    Peru got the third place, an awesome game! really exciting against Venezuela, and an incredible Guerrero, 3 goals and one assist…awesome!! Vamos Peru!

  45. July 23, 2011

    So, I’ll ask the same question here that I asked on them there Twitters:

    If Hleb and Ibrahimovic were excoriated for making unflattering comments about Guardiola when they left, why isn’t Krkic?

    Recall that Hleb called Guardiola unfair and said that he played favorites, Ibrahimovic derisively called him “philosopher” and Krkic called him unfair (again) and said it sucked that he didn’t get to play in the CL Final.

    Hleb started brightly then faded. The reasons for his departure were clear. Ibrahimovic started brightly, ultimately displaced by Krkic and didn’t like it one bit. Krkic started brightly, faded to ineffectiveness at the end. All three seem similar cases.

    Have received some interesting responses on Twitter, want to ask here, as well.

    • Vj
      July 23, 2011

      Bojan: “Guardiola is the best coach in the world, but of course I don’t agree with some of the decisions he has made.”

      Sugarcoating 😀

    • Ryan
      July 23, 2011

      I suppose age has part to do with it. Bojan, at 20, is afforded some rashness and bone-headed comments that youth is typified by.

    • FalseNine
      July 23, 2011

      Because Bojan phrased things carefully, he said nice things about Pep (“the best possible coach”) but said he disagreed with some of “the decisions”. That turns it from a personal thing to a professional thing; he likes the man and respects his overall performance, just wishes the man had made different choices in regards to him. Honestly, it’s pretty hard to criticize that, even if you don’t agree with him.

    • Lou
      July 23, 2011

      For me, I was annoyed by Hleb as he seemed to make very little effort to try and integrate into the squad and then complained bitterly about begin left out. I remember watching the Copa final in 2009 and afterwards, one of the Spanish journalists tried to talk to Hleb but he refused to say a word of Spanish. Not good. You can fault Bojan for many things, but lack of effort isn’t one.

      I’m not as outraged by Ibra as some, but I do think his comments about Pep were way out of line and far beyond what Bojan has said.

      Bojan’s words do sound a bit bitter, but I’d be very interested to hear what questions he was responding to. As we all know with the Fabregas situation, the media often ask leading questions and take answers out of context.

      All in all I think Bojan’s quotes make clear that it was time for him too go. It’s not good for the team to have unhappy players in the squad. Best of luck to him.

    • Dani_el
      July 23, 2011

      I’ve read that Pep said that he didnt have any involvement with the buy back clause, it seems he didn´t want to come back, still Pep may not be there in a couple of years, I think they should have ask him anyway.

    • blitzen
      July 23, 2011

      Well I did call him whiny and self-pitying up above. What more do you want? The only really “bad” thing he said was that the club had been “unfair” to him. If he is talking about not giving him minutes, then I disagree. Pep did everything he could to give him playing time, and not just in Copa matches, either. But he failed to perform to expectations, so what else could Pep do? He benched him.

      The one thing I do think the club did that was unfair to him is making him wait until the Sanchez deal was wrapped up before they finalized his Roma transfer. I don’t understand the reason for that at all. Was it just in case Sanchez didn’t happen and they could cancel the Roma deal? That would be ridiculous. And if not, then what? Just for publicity reasons? Very unfair to keep Bojan around kicking his heels when everyone knew he was leaving. Uncomfortable.

    • blitzen
      July 23, 2011

      Well, you’d better hurry, they have been trying to sell him all summer.

    • Dani_el
      July 23, 2011

      A kind of Dinho smile. I hope he stays happy for a longer time!

  46. Judas Pissed
    July 23, 2011

    Could Soriano be our ‘Plan B’ if we kept him & promoted him to first XI?

    • July 23, 2011

      What Guardiola said, post-match,from the Twitters:

      “Soriano is still a Barcelona player and we should take him into account. 32 goals at the B-team means something.” #fcblive

    • Jnice
      July 23, 2011

      Zubizaretta back in early July:

      He contributed a lot to the team this season and we are working with him and his agent to find the best option. We hope a good offer comes through, both for him and the club. If none arrives, Jonathan still has a contract with Barça B, so he will join us for training on the 11th and will work normally, despite knowing that he has no chance of moving up to the first team.”

        • Jnice
          July 23, 2011

          Pretty sure it is. Nothing has really changed from now until then. We lost Bojan, but acquired Sanchez. Same numbers.

    • beeeef
      July 23, 2011

      Lets start taking bets for which young manager/Barca-b player combo will be in Barcelona in two years time.

      AVB/Romeu, LE/Bojan, etc

      • beeeef
        July 23, 2011

        I’ve thought about this deal more and decided if Barca intend on using the buyback option, 5m and an 8m buyback is not bad at all. But if we’re just selling the guy to add money to the BringBackCesc fund, they should have sold a less promising player.

    • outerspacedout
      July 24, 2011

      Okay, total about-turn regarding Neymar. A Spongebob T-shirt AND Spongebob shorts? I love the guy! Buy him already whoo!

  47. The new shirts suck……………

    Could someone help me understand the Bojan deal which we sign?

    My understanding is the Roma has signed a two yer deal with the player. The 12 Million transfer fee will be given to us only in July, 2013. But at the end of 2012-13 season we are obliged to bid for him at 13 Million. Now that means we will have to pay Roma 1 Million to keep the player, if he proves at least half of his potential. But what happens if Bojan does not agree to such a deal at end of 2012-13 season. Will he become a free player? If yes, then this could become a very foolish deal. A two year loan with Roma paying 100% of his salary would have been a much better option.

  48. Olufestus
    July 24, 2011

    I dont play the piano,but am always on keys…

  49. Diego
    July 24, 2011

    @Outerspacedout

    Your words were very true, I only came to realize this 7 months later. #revolution

  50. mei
    July 24, 2011

    We need more posts and comments from BarcelonaFootballBlog!

  51. Kariyanna
    July 24, 2011

    So Basically we have had a new number 9 every season with Pep.

    • FalseNine
      July 24, 2011

      Kept the same number 10 though, so I’m good.

      (and the 6, and the 8….)

  52. BA
    July 24, 2011

    does anyone know who exactly will be traveling on the U.S. tour? will Messi, Dani Alves et. al be available? will Sanchez be included? no info on the club site as of yet.

  53. mega_tajh
    July 24, 2011

    Looks like his shirt name will be Alexis only.

    • yana
      July 24, 2011

      Interesting. He’s been “Sanchez” with both Chile and Udinese, yes?

      On a different note: strange distressed patterns on denim. Yes, he fits right in with the fashion disaster Barca midgets.

  54. FalseNine
    July 24, 2011

    If you’re someone who won’t believe a transfer until you see the player in front of the crest: time to believe.

    http://ow.ly/i/eNPO

    • July 24, 2011

      Ok, now I care.

      Welcome Sanchez! Now to actually go read those 100+ comments on how Sanchez will make us better.

  55. yana
    July 24, 2011

    The Copa final is not going to end with 22 on the field. Or possibly even 20. Whether through cards or grevious bodily injury remains to be seen, as both seem very likely given play so far…

    • July 24, 2011

      Most lopsided international tourney final since France ’98?

      • yana
        July 24, 2011

        The Guardian’s live commentary: “I haven’t seen such a one-sided final since May.”

        Ha!

    • Ryan
      July 24, 2011

      One day and 14 days since he had scored, according to Univision. Crazy!

      • Miguel
        July 24, 2011

        Happy he broke his duck. I didn’t want to see Larissa naked anyway.

    • July 24, 2011

      To back up yana’s comments above, I don’t know what’s tackier, Alexis’s denim shirt or the giant, faux-gold Barca crest we have hanging around in the office.

  56. mega_tajh
    July 24, 2011

    Of Topic- I know I’ve been away for a while but when did we sell GAEL ETOCK to Chelsea?

  57. Ryan
    July 24, 2011

    Wow, is Goldilocks back? Just scored in the 90th minute.

  58. culegirl3
    July 24, 2011

    What did I miss in the copa?? I’m at at galaxy vs Manchester City game…dying of boredom.

  59. Jackieboy
    July 24, 2011

    I’m a firm believer of Bojan’s talent and I think most of you guys are being way too harsh on him. He’s only turning 21 in a month. The fact that he’s been in the team for some 4 years makes you think he’s older than that, but, well, he isn’t. And there aren’t many players as good as he already is at his age. His main problem was lack of minutes really. When Pep finally began to start him, he scored 2 important goals (winner vs. Getafe, equalizer vs. Sevilla) near the end of the season, in 2 consecutive games. Too bad the injury came next.

    I wish him all the best at Roma and hope he comes back to us in style.

    • July 24, 2011

      I think that many of us believe in Krkic’s talent. I don’t know that any of the comments above imply that some aren’t. I, personally, believe in his talent, but not in his body/temperament. I think he is too small to play the position and way that he wants to play, and that was/is his problem, rather than lack of minutes. Hopefully, some high-quality batterings by Serie A types will help him evolve into a player who understands how to play with the physical gifts that he has, rather than ones that he only thinks he has. The way that he plays sometimes, looks like he thinks that he has Balotelli’s body. He doesn’t, and he never will. He’s best when he takes advantage of his quickness and off-the-ball movement.

      As for temperatment, his departure comments speak to a player who has been fed with a gilded spoon for too long. He was promoted before he was ready because of comments from his entourage that clearly indicated that he might leave the club if such things didn’t happen. Turns out that he did in fact need more time.

      There is nothing wrong with Krkic that an attitude adjustment can’t fix, both in terms of where and how he can play, and his value to a club.

      Apologies if that sounds harsh. That wasn’t the intent.

  60. July 24, 2011

    As for the comments above that we need more posts and comments from BFB. Comments we have plenty of. It’s nice that things thrive and go on without us. The posts will accelerate as more things start to happen. As of late, there’s been a signing, a completely meaningless friendly and a sale. I admit that we wet the bed on the friendly.

    Your BFB team is law students, a Daddy type who is getting married and firmly embroiled in planning a wedding, a teacher planning a new semester and a journalist who, when he isn’t trying to make his section and coverage areas better is spending most waking moments training and competing in bicycle racing.

    As with players, the summer is about renewal and refreshing the passion, and doing other things. I think that Iniesta looked so fresh and dazzling in the friendly because he’d been lazing about, instead of running around playing a World Cup, etc. Hopefully, BFB will benefit in the same way from the summer’s break.

    Thanks to everyone for the great comments, and maintenance of the mood and feel that make this such a great blog. I don’t think we’re going to sell or loan anyone this summer, but if Isaiah and Luke keep vexing me, I might have to see if Roma has interest, and if the number 14-1/2 and 14-3/4 are available.

    (Hehehehe….)

  61. Benj
    July 24, 2011

    I haven’t read through all of the comments but from what I can see, to dumb it down and simplify (with very little economics knowledge)…

    Barca has loaned CT to Lucho for 2 years.

    We are paying them 1m to take him on for 2 years (reverse loan fee), with the option for them to buy at the end of the loan for 28m. They pay 100% of wages in the meantime.

    In essence, no?

    So essentially, they get a minimum of 1m euros and a few goals, possibly alot of goals…

    Luckyyyy

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