"Both the club and the player did as much as possible. Our second offer was €40 million. From the moment Arsenal said they didn't want to negotiate, we respected their position. We would have liked to have signed him, but we weren't able to negotiate. It wasn't a disappointment - it was simply impossible. Thanks to the conversations, we have re-established contact with Arsenal.”
- Andoni Zubizarreta, about Barcelona’s interest in Cesc Fabregas
So it turns out that Barcelona offered £33m for Cesc Fabregas, but we rejected them. They respected our position and didn’t make another bid. They just held microphones in front of all the Barca players and Cesc’s entire family and got them to ask Cesc to leave. That’s what principle looks like, Barcelona-style.
I’m surprised Arsenal would consider opening up dialogue with Barcelona again. Sure, Cesc is going to go back sooner rather later, but if I was Arsenal, I would’ve ignored Barcelona for a few more months and made them sweat a bit.
I’m not sure what’s going to happen in 12 months time. Barcelona are heavily in debt, but they’ve got the knack of pulling out a big signing every year. Barcelona don’t really need Fabregas at the moment, and Arsenal really need him now. But the frenzy around Cesc-to-Barcelona is so intense that Barcelona are obliged to make a serious bid every season. What’s the bet that Barcelona makes another £33m bid next season, shrug their shoulders when it doesn’t work, and then move on to find a replacement for Puyol?
In other news, The Sun is written by a bunch of idiots. The FA introduce a rule designed to promote home-grown players, and The Sun mistake it to be a rule designed to kick out every dirty, smelly foreigner from the pure fair lands of Ingerland. So they get a bit angry when Arsenal - which had the foresight to prepare for this rule five years ago - has a squad which is tailor-made for the new regulations. The Arsenal have a squad of 70 to chose from while Chelsea only have 19 players? You’re having a laugh, aren’t you?
So on the 234th last day of my 20s, I didn’t have to work. I have Fridays off now. Caught up with a friend I hadn’t seen in a year. He’s got an awesome job, travels all around the world fixing stuff. I realise that there’s more to it than that, but from the outside, seems amazing.