Let's go back to approximately 9 months ago. After weeks of speculation, rumor, hearsay, and gossip, Associazione Calcio Milan President Silvio "Bunga Bunga" Berlusconi admitted to selling Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva to Paris Saint-Germain F.C. for a combined fee of €65 million. It wrecked the heart of Milanisti everywhere, for the very same person have just refuted the said transfer a few days earlier. Well, he was once the Prime Minister of Italy, so he must have some credibility, doesn't he? Doesn't he? Anyone?
I can't believe this guy is richer than me.... - via www.footballshoot.com
Now, less than 1 year later, another round of speculation, rumor, hearsay, and gossip began to surface, despite the skepticism surrounding it, that Zlatan will come back to Italy, to the first club he ever played for in the peninsula. Important people everywhere claims that it's "unlikely", mostly citing economic consideration as their reason for disbelief. No club in Italy, they say, have the financial muscle to pull such a grand coup anymore. Yet the rumor persists. Fans started to believe. Media started to go crazy. Why? Why is something seemingly so implausible, so believable? Is it just the media trying to sell some papers? Is it Raiola with his hidden agenda as usual? Is it calcio fans, who wants to believe that Serie A can still attract world class players?
Well here's my take on it.
Zlatan, since the very beginning, has never been really attracted to playing for PSG. Yeap, you read that right. Think about it, this is Zlatan we're talking about. He's an egomaniac. He's not Amauri, who'd do everything for money. He's in it for the recognition, for the glory, for the bragging rights. PSG don't offer much of that, now do they? Then why agree to the move? Well, because Milan pushed him out, clearly. He commanded a very high salary, too high for Milan to sustain with the situation they were in (and they are still in). Milan wanted Zlatan out.
And here's the kicker: PSG didn't really want Zlatan either. Yeap, you read that right again. PSG only wanted Thiago Silva, and they started negotiation with Milan only for Thiago Silva. But Galliani, being the sly fox that he is, basically said to PSG that Silva will only be sold in a package deal involving Zlatan. I think, PSG wanted Silva so bad, that they actually agreed to signing Zlatan, even though they realized that his salary would be too high. They probably even knew that they'd need to get rid of Zlatan as soon as they find another striker of comparable quality (Cavani?).
Paris is nice, I'm telling you... - via www4.pictures.zimbio.com
Now I don't know exactly why Zlatan accepted the transfer. He probably thought, what the heck, I'd be one of the best paid footballer in the world, and I'd be joining a team on the rise. I could be a legend here. Or maybe he just said screw you Milan, I will never play for you again! Or maybe he just threw a number to PSG, never really thought that PSG would agree. I don't know. What's clear is that he's unhappy and unmotivated in Paris.
Some of you are probably thinking: JD has lost it. There is NO WAY what he wrote could be true. No.Effing.Way. So let me try to explain why I am left with this thought.
If you have been following the news, you'd probably realize that Raiola has been coming out and sending a wink or two towards Juve, with his statement about Juve needing to come out and do something concrete about the supposed interest, before Raiola can "put his mind into gear to see if it is possible". Raiola even encouraged Juve to dream, citing "Milan thought Balotelli was impossible" as an example of his most recent masterstroke. It's clear that Raiola, and Ibra by extension, is not against the idea of returning to Juve, even at the possibility of earning less.
What about Juve? Do the club really want Ibra? I'd say yes, provided that it's within the club's economic parameter. How do I know? Well, Marotta, Nedved, and Conte all have said that Zlatan's a strong player which would increase the quality of the team. Marotta, of course, added that Zlatan would have to accept a massive paycut... It's basically saying "We're interested if you're willing to meet us halfway". And my guess is that the 2 parties have done more than just a little talk over the media about this. Gazzetta's report on a possible 4 year deal at 7 million net + bonus might carry a bit weight, after all...
But the club knows that the fans don't want Ibra, I heard you scream. No, surprisingly, not every Juventini is against the idea. The club has been testing the water to see fans' reaction to the news, and they found out that maybe Ibra wasn't such a bad thing... The club did have a history of cancelling a transfer because the fans vetoed it (see: Stankovic, Dejan)...
Wait wait wait, aren't we forgetting something?? Well glad you asked. We kinda skipped on the fact that Zlatan, after all, is still a PSG player! Forgot that, didn't you?!? So, let me ask you this: if you were Leonardo, and you think Zlatan's indispensable, and every day this bloody agent of his yaps in the media about a possible transfer to another club, what would you do? Me, I'd come out and put a stop to it. I'd say, "He's not for sale at any price. You can all go f*ck yourselves". OK, maybe not that last bit. But I digress. So go ahead and ask yourselves this: Why haven't PSG or Leonardo come out and say anything at all to dismiss the rumor?
You tell me! - via answers.bettor.com
Well I think, they have (directly or indirectly) given the green light to Raiola and Zlatan to work out on a transfer. With Juventus or whatever, they don't care. They just want Zlatan off their book. That high salary is starting to bite. But then again, if it's indeed Juventus that Zlatan ends up with, then maybe they could get something out of the deal... To know what could PSG possibly gain, cast your mind back a bit, again to 8-9 months ago. We just signed Isla and Asamoah, and with Pepe, Padoin, and Caceres within our ranks, some believed that Lichtsteiner is no longer an indispensable part of the team. And news have gotten out that PSG is on the lookout for a right back...
So there you have it. My thoughts on Ibra-Juve. Why it's no longer a remote possibility. Discuss.
This post is written by JDAngkasa. You can follow him on twitter: @JDAngkasa