Editor's note: This article was written by Adi-Oula Sebastian, I'm just publishing it as he is currently unavailable.
I'm sorry if I'm not exactly up to date, I'm in a place where they serve bad food amongst other things and I currently do not enjoy the perks of highspeed broadband connection. Once again I'd like to thank the Canadian geniuses of Research in Motion for inventing the BlackBerry! I could probably live without a lot of things but not sans my beloved Bold 9780. Yeah, I'm doing free advertising for BlackBerry. But then again, without my trusted companion I would've not been able to write this editorial, let alone submit it. Hooray for the T-Mobile dataplan!
It's been a while since I published anything; technically I'll still have not published anything as of this moment but thanks to Bostjan for publishing it for me under his moniker. From what I grasp in the media (in my case, radio) or on the Google Alerts I so conveniently set up for my mobile device, the Blaugrana are still very much in the hunt for the much coveted signatures of long-term target Cesc Fabregas, Udinese Boy wonder Alexis Sanchez and Villarreal hitman Giuseppe Rossi.
As it stands Pep Guardiola has a transfer kitty of 45 million Euro, just slightly more than he splashed out on 2010 mega-signing David Villa. Considering that he will be given all proceeds from any potential trades his funds aren't exactly restricted. But in comparison to previous summers (2008, 2009) where he spent somewhere in the neighborhood of 70-90 million Euro, this summer looks more like a happy meal than a four course menu. Thus far Pep Guardiola's track record in the transfer market is mixed at best. During his reign he has made some truly inspired signings, Gerard Pique, Dani Alves, Seydou Keita or more recently Javier Mascherano. But there are always two sides of a story. On the other hand Mr. Guardiola is guilty of wasting almost approximately 70 percent of the accumulated transfer kitty handed to him during his reign on certified duds.
He spent in excess of 100 million Euro just to replace the mercurial talents of Samuel Eto'o. 100 million? Yeah, 100 million Euro.
The transfer of Zlatan Ibrahimovic from Inter Milan to FC Barcelona accounted for a massive 49 million Euro, in a one-off payment. Add Ibracadabra's hugely inflated annual salary of around 10 million (not taking bonus payments into account) and the 1-year Ibrahimovic experiment has cost FC Barcelona 59 million Euro for the fiscal year of 2009/2010. Not to mention, a player of Zlatan Ibrahimovic's profile surely must've received a signing-on bonus.
Where is he now? In Milan kicking his teammates.
Welcome David Villa
Once again, something, or better yet, someone had to go. Bye Ibrahimovic, hello David Villa. For some reason the FC Barcelona hierarchy felt inclined to pay 40 million Euro (plus a likely signing-on bonus) on a 28 year old striker who was just a couple of months away from turning 29. If the player does not go by the name of Zinedine Zidane there's not reason to pay that exorbitant amount of money for an almost 29 year old striker. To add insult to injury, David Villa isn't even playing as a striker.
Let's take a minute and think about it. Left-winger, Valencia CF and yet to enter his peak...yeah they have such a player, Juan Mata! And the guy even wears Nike boots. Win-Win-Win. Not so much in Barca land where logic usually falls on deaf ears. Frankly I believe the higher ups at FC Barcelona just wanted to prevent El Guaje from joining Real Madrid. At any cost!
23 goals and a couple of assists aren't a bad haul by any stretch of the imagination. But this is FC Barcelona for crying out loud. Talk about work rate I am convinced that Juan Mata would've put in the same shift as David Villa and matched his goal exploits on the left hand side of the attack. He would've cost half the amount it took to get Villa to Barcelona and a significantly small salary (David Villa is on 7,5 million annually).
Ching Ching, let's do some math here.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic: 49 million Euro + 10 million Euro salary = 59 million Euro
David Villa: 40 million Euro + 7,5 million Euro salary = 47,5 million Euro
Calculation: 89 million Euro in transfer fees and 17,5 million Euro in salaries
Grand total: 106,5 million Euro just to find a false left winger
Why false left winger? These days Lionel Messi has been reinvented as a false no. 9, thus pushing David Villa to the far left of Barca's three man attack.
Just out of curiosity, in which position does Samuel Eto'o plays his football in Milan? As a fake left-winger and he scored some 30-odd goals in what must be the most defensive league in Europe.
Now FC Barcelona is linked to Giuseppe Rossi - sorry I'm not buying it. I sincerely believe that the Italian International is used as a decoy and that Alexis Sanchez is the primary and only target of the Blaugrana. The mention of Cesc Fabregas is rather an occupational hazard than a real option. Some random English youngsters are sold for 20 million Euro so I guess 50 million is an appropriate asking price for Cesc.
The pre-announcement of transfer funds available to Pep Guardiola arguably only serves the purpose of lowering the asking price for any players FC Barcelona are interested in. It's an interesting approach. This way they are forcing their primary target, in this case, Alexis Sanchez, to ask the Udinese president to lower his evaluation so he can join his preferred destination.
For reasons unknown Real Madrid do snap up players for reasonable prices in relation to their true market value. Before Angel di Maria joined los Blancos his asking price was 40 million and then some. In the end the Argentine became Madrid's most expensive summer signing of 2010 at 25 million with add-ons. Mesut Özil, who really surprised me, had a price tag of 15 million. Although it must be said that he only had 1 year left on his Schalke 04 contract.
This year Madrid supremo Florentino Perez signed a world-class midfielder in the making in the form of Nuri Sahin for just 10 million Euro. So there goes Cesc, because if Barca were really desperate for an additional midfielder they could've bought the young Turkish international. 10 million for an exciting prospect who would warm the bench anyways is a great deal, especially since Sahin retains a massive resell value. Cesc Fabregas contract runs out in 2015! Before the year 2013 he isn't available at a more reasonable rate.
Personally I would've bought Nuri Sahin for 10 million, tied him to a 5 year contract and used him as a bargaining chip with Arsenal down the line or sold him outright in 2 years time for a handsome profit.
Right now, FC Barcelona's new transfer approach can backfire on all fronts. 45 million can buy the likes of Cesc, Rossi or Sanchez but just one of them. Once FC Barcelona make a signing, it'll be easy for selling clubs to outprice their most valuable assets.
Where does that leave the future of Jefferen...umm, goodbye buddy. Bojan he'll probably goes too.
In a perfect world and if I was in charge of transfers I would sell Seydou Keita, Maxwell, Gabriel Milito (even for free), Henrique, Hleb (for free), Kerreison, Bojan and bring in Mamadou Sakho (since he can operate as a left-back as well) or Mats Hummels, Davide Santon, promote Fontas, stick with Thiago and buy Alexis Sanchez.
By all accounts the acquisition of Sanchez makes the most sense. The Chilean can be deployed across the front three has arguably more potential than Rossi and isn't in imminent danger of losing his position with the international side.
There you go I've said it, Alexis Sanchez is the main objective.
C'mon Mr. Rosell give me a chance. I'd fire the front desk and the middle office and replace them with the Blaugranes staff. I'd make FC Barcelona lean and mean :)
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