Monday, 20 April 2009

[2008] Ronnie's week

this post was published exactly one year ago:

While last week a deal seemed close, this week's events, which this blog brings to you in three parts, lead to think that the transfer of Barcelona playmaker Ronaldinho (28) to Milan will not be agreed upon between all parties shortly.

1. Milan - Ronaldinho
(this part was published on Friday, you can read it here)

2. Ronaldinho - Barcelona
(this part was published yesterday, you can read it here)

3. Barcelona - Milan
A lot of false alarms this week. Milan vice president Adriano Galliani was several times announced to arive in Barcelona shortly but in the end a meeting between Galliani and Barcelona president Joan Laporta or other Barcelona board members didn't take place. Milan adviser Ernesto Bronzetti said on Friday to Italian television channel Rai Due that Galliani will meet with Laporta next week.

Barcelona and Milan officials nevertheless kept talking over the phone and by mail all along the week about the transfer of Barcelona playmaker Ronaldinho (28). And Bronzetti met yesterday in person with Barcelona vice presidents Ferran Soriano and Marc Ingla in Barcelona.

Barcelona is taking the whole process with extreme care. Since the issue was discussed during a board meeting last month (read more here), very few officials pronounced on Ronaldinho, if it isn't to say that he's still a player of Barcelona and that the club hopes he'll recover soon from his injury.

Barcelona board member and spokesman Alfons Godall even denied on Wednesday that Barcelona was negotiating with Milan. Communications director Jordi Badia nevertheless admitted that Barcelona sports director Txiki Begiristain had met with Bronzetti the week before (read more here), but "only to listen to what the Italian had to say and nothing more". Begiristain himself yesterday didn't want to comment on Ronaldinho's future either: "There are several clubs interested. But I won't be the one who talks about the contacts with other clubs."

It is believed that Barcelona doesn't want to hurry things, mainly cause of two reasons.

- First, Barcelona wants to concentrate fully on the Champions League and an official announcement of a deal with Milan could disturb the preparation.

A final agreement shouldn't therefore be expected before the end of Barceona's Champions League campaign, and certainly not before the return game of the semi finals against Manchester United. Madrid sports tabloid As claims that a deel has already been found but that the club agreed not to announce anything as long as Barcelona is involved in the Champions League.

- Secondly, Milan is not offering a transfer price that is considered acceptable by Barcelona, who doesn't plan to drop the initial asking price of 30 million euro°. Catalan sports paper Sport even claims that Barcelona wants to include several extra incentives in the contract, based on matches played, goals scored and trophies won.

Milan doesn't want to pay more than 20 million euro° and still doesn't exclude to use Article 17 of the FIFA Transfer Regulations, allowing Ronaldinho to leave for only 16 million euro°. Although teams like Inter Milan and Manchester City are offering a higher transfer fee, Barcelona cannot use that argument to pressure Milan since Ronaldinho has made clear he only wants to play for Milan. To prove that once again, Ernesto Bronzetti went to dinner with Roberto de Assís, the brother and agent of Ronaldinho, after assisting the Espanyol game yesterday.

Because Milan is getting nevertheless somewhat nervous after the latest rumours about a new Inter-Nike push for the Brazilian, the club would be ready to move and Bronzetti would have offered yesterday to pay 30 million euro° for both Ronaldinho and Barcelona right back defender Gianluca Zambrotta (31) (read more here). Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport, who put this forward, says that new talks between Bronzetti and Barcelona officials were scheduled today. Roberto would like to close the deal soon since he's returning to Brazil in a few days.

This evening, Milan vice president Galliani confirmed that his club had made an offer for both players but said that an agreement shouldn't be expected soon cause there's still a serious difference between the positions of both clubs: "'Yes, we went to Barcelona and we talked about Ronaldinho and Zambrotta. But at this moment, the parties are far apart: Milan will never pay for the Brazilian what Barcelona is asking. Their price is out of the market. But we have time, the transfer window closes at the end of August."

Read more 20 April 2008 news:
Henry wants to return to England
Transfer history: Ferguson (Manchester United)
Modric against his will close to Premier League

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