Jul 13, 2012, 6:10 PM EDT
I beg your patience. I need to talk something out.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic seems intent on getting the most out of his Paris move. The Milan attacker, whose sale to Paris Saint-Germain was agreed to between the clubs yesterday, is far from agreeing to terms with his new team. According to his agent, Mino Raiola, “We are far away or, to put it better, we are as close [to agreeing terms] as America and China.”
More telling, from Raiola: “PSG have to convince themselves that with Zlatan they are acquiring the best.”
Ibrahimovic may settle for something less than what Samuel Eto’o got from Russia’s Anzhi Makhachkala, but the Cameroonian’s wages may be a starting point in negotiations. Eto’o garners $24.4 million per year to play in the Russian Premier League. Ibrahimovic makes slightly over $11 million per season with Milan.
Between the lines, it seems Italy’s leading goal scorer just doesn’t want to move to PSG. Undoubtedly, given Milan’s financial situation, he’d entertained the idea that he’d be sold this summer, though given his age and where he’s played throughout most of his career, Ibrahimovic may not see Ligue 1 as a suitable landing spot. He’s likely angling to stay in the traditional “big three” (England, Spain, Italy), part of the reason his agent has gone to the press, sending a flare up to clubs across Europe.
It’s difficult to imagine PSG holding too firm on the wage issue, though the road bump opens another door. Ibrahimovic is set to move with Thiago Silva, but the two could be sold separately. If Ibrahimovic wants to engineer a move elsewhere, it’s not hard to imagine a club like Real Madrid matching PSG’s $24.4 million offer. And even if the Parisans upped their bid to try to leverage the deal from the other angle, Ibrahimovic’s salary demands could still steer him somewhere he wants to play. Depending on how much of a bump Ibrahimovic demands, there are a number of clubs across Europe who come into play, given that relatively low transfer fee.
Why’s the fee so low? The wage issue for one. A new contract at wages required to lure Ibrahimovic could end up being an $80 million commitment. Ibrahimovic also turns 31 in October. His next contract may be his last as an elite player, and given his likely desire for a four-or-five year deal, the final season could prove very costly. How many 35-year-olds’ play is worth those wages?
My feeling: Ibrahimovic doesn’t seem to want to play in Paris, for whatever reason. He’s may need Eto’o money to do so. PSG should turn their back on that deal. But now that Milan has come to grips with life without Ibrahimovic, they’ll be willing to move him on to whomever can come close to the $29 million they paid Barcelona. The most likely team to say “sure, why not”? Real Madrid.
Side note: This is one of the aspects about international soccer I’ve always loved. I’m not a big fan of drafts, trade – swapping players like property, as we do in North American spots. I’d hate to be told where I have to work. Zlatan Ibrahimovic is being told were he should work, but he’s saying balking. Make it worth my while, he seems to be demanding. It seem the least PSG could do. Between his time with Inter and the Rossoneri, Zlatan’s probably very comfortable in Milan. Why should he have to alter his lifestyle merely because PSG has a truck of money Milan wants?
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