"We will never pay 50 or 60 million [euros] for Cesc. The whole world knows he wants to come and that we want to sign him. It's a topic that has become so public and that's the worst thing you can do with a transfer, because it makes the selling club raise their expectations and you end up paying over the odds."
- Sandro Rosell, Barcelona FC president
Sandro Rosell came to power on the back of an apocalyptic message of financial Armageddon. He preached financial conservatism, an end to cronyism, and a sound business plan for Barcelona FC. It's a shame that he didn't add "respecting other clubs' contracts" to the list.
I think Sandro's right. It IS regrettable that the transfer's been made public. I'm bored shitless reading about it, commenting about it, speculating about it. I read it from the Barcelona players, the Barcelona directors, the Barcelona press. Everyone connected to Barcelona has said something about it in the press. The end result is that it makes the selling club (Arsenal) raise their expectations and expect that if Barcelona are so intent on buying Cesc Fabregas, they'd probably be willing to pay more than an insultingly low figure.
I'm not sure Barcelona can afford Fabregas at the moment. They're heavily in debt. They've just bought David Villa. They're going to have to move Ibrahimovic along (possibly to Man City again?) in order to get the cash to pay off their outstanding transfer debts, and then if they have spare cash, maybe make a bid for Fabregas. Because at the moment, they're about 20m short of our valuation.
Still, it's a funny thing that Sandro Rosell said. It's bewildering to see a bidding club publicly nominate a "fair" selling price, do everything they can to piss off the selling club, and then act distraught when the selling club refuses to negotiate. It's like the school-yard bully telling the teacher that he'll won't be intimidated when the other school-kids refuse to give him their lunch-money.
So on the 291st last day of my 20s, I went to work, and spent the day in harm-minimalisation mode. Didn't try anything tricky. Worked well within my limits. Spent the day keeping out of trouble. Went alright. My nurse kept saying I was depressed, though, which is probably true. Sigh.