President of FC Barcelona, Sandro Rosell, has been speaking to local Catalan television station TV3, where the Barça man revealed some interesting bits of information that will certainly garner a lot of intrigue for the waiting Blaugrana public hungry for news of potential transfers into the club this summer.
Speaking to the show ‘Agora‘, Rosell explained that the Catalan club would not be held to ransom in any deal to bring former player, Cesc Fabregas, back to the club – no matter how much the midfielder may want it.
“I do not know if we will put an offer in for Cesc or not. Of what I do not have any doubt is that he has a lot of desire to come to Barça. Guardiola knows that every player has his value and Cesc’s is less than 40 million. We will offer less than 40 million euros and if Arsenal does not want to accept, then Cesc will not come. Pep knows the club is not in a good financial position,” said Rosell.
Reiterating the point that he made during last week’s press conference, the president said that the club would not go beyond its means in order to secure the services of any player, even Cesc. “We have 45 million available for transfers, plus any net sales we make during the next 5 years. There is not more money to spend.”
“On arrival we saw that the club’s debt was far greater than what was said. We had to negotiate a syndicated loan to pay salaries, which were delayed nearly a month for the players. There was delay, but gradually we have order there,” said the president, illustrating just how bad he and his board felt the club’s finances where upon their arrival last summer.
Asked if reports claiming that a deal for young Chilean sensation, Alexis Sanchez, had in fact been finalized, Rosell was obviously frustrated, saying that “nothing has been closed with Alexis.” Continuing on, the president revealed that “only one will sign” from potential targets Giuseppe Rossi and the Chilean, Sanchez.
Moving onto players already at the club, Sandro revealed that French international, Eric Abidal, had recently turned down a contract extension that the club had offered him, although the president does not see there being any problems stopping the two parties reaching an agreement sometime soon. “Abidal has not accepted the renewal. It has been put on the table for him. When he returns from holidays then we will speak.”
On the rather more sensitive subject of the club’s relations with Real Madrid, Rosell revealed that he has yet to make amends with Real Madrid president, Florentino Perez, with both men so far choosing to keep their distance from one another. “I have not spoken with Florentino Perez since the final game, my relationship with him is on standby. There is no cold war but there are wounds that must heal.”
Asked why he had taken so long to respond to the many verbal attacks perpetrated by Madrid on the Catalan club, Rosell admitted that he had been holding fire until the time was right. “The probability that we would face Madrid in the finals of the Champions League was high, so that if we had spoken before, we would have been responsible for the evils that were understood to have happened socially.”
Discussing Madrid’s manager, Jose Mourinho, Rosell explained that he personally doesn’t value the Portuguese’s talents quite as highly as everyone else seems to do, adding that it is the Madrid manager’s temperament that seems to let him down so often, as was witnessed with the unsavoury comments made by Mourinho after the Champions League semi-finals. “He is not the best manager in the world. UEFA awarded that to Inter Milan generally… Everything starts with an employee, but it must be the board and the president who must put a stop to it.”
On the allegations made by Cardena Cope relating to supposed doping insinuations, Rosell told the TV3 show that he believed his club had been cleared of any potential wrong-doing, whilst the side from Madrid had not been found so favourable. “Real Madrid did not deny the Cope allegations. The facts speak louder than words and they do not believe Florentino Perez on this, but most would have believed him more if Real Madrid had gone up against Cope in court. I always try to put myself in other people’s shoes. If it had been reversed, I would have gone. But it was not.”
Back on the topic of Barça’s financial situation, Rosell admitted that the tightening of belts had been tough for all involved but the president revealed such strains had not affected his working relationship with manager, Pep Guardiola. “It is not like a relationship I have with my best friend. But it’s very good.”
“With austerity, it’s hard and you lose friends. We are suffering with it. We’ve removed the catering events, our bodyguards. It’s a disadvantage. And we don’t even have the money to make copies in colour at the club. Now we make copies in black and white and save on toner,” added Rosell.
Finally the Barça president revealed that he had taken a strong stance when accusations of racism had been levelled at midfielder, Sergio Busquets, with Rosell apparently telling the youngster that “these things are not done at this club.”
After such a long and interesting interview we will all wait with baited breath upon the reply that we will surely get from the Spanish capital, something we will keep you up to date with here on totalBarça as soon as we have it.