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17.07.2009 19:40

Laporta announces agreement in principle with Inter

Vanessa Forns

Joan Laporta has confirmed that there is an agreement in principle between FC Barcelona and Inter Milan for Ibrahimovic to join the club in exchange for Eto'o and a certain fee.

During the press conference to present Maxwell, Joan Laporta has stated that there is an agreement in principle with the Italian club for the transfer of Ibrahimovic. As Samuel Eto'o also forms part of the deal, the Barcelona president has commented that this agreement is being conditioned by the fact that both players have to settle their interests with what could be their new clubs.

Option still open in attack

zlatan_ibrahimovic.jpgAt the same time, Joan Laporta made it very clear that the deal has not been closed yet, and so the club has not forgotten another of the options that they have been studying as a possible new centre forward: David Villa. “The Ibrahimovic operation is not settled, at it is too early to say which of the two options –Villa or the Inter player– is the most satisfactory. In the end we will be going for the option that we consider best for Barça”, he said.

Director of football Txiki Begiristain also stressed that there is nothing definitive regarding the future Barça centre forward role: “There are several options open, and we have to work on them and operate as well as we can. Ibrahimovic is one of the options we have”.

Highly medicated decision

2009-07-17_PRESENTACION_DE_MAXWELL_010.JPGAfter confirming that club feels “it is time for a change” in reference to Samuel Eto'o, Txiki explained that Inter would be a good destination for the Cameroonian, “especially given that their president, Moratti, and their manager, Mourinho, have shown their interest in him … Ibrahimovic is one of the options, and so is Villa. Before making a switch like this, you have to be absolutely certain”.

etoxo-fcb-sp.lisboa_x12x.jpgSamuel Eto'o’s name was on every tongue. Joan Laporta, who said he had spoken to the Cameroonian a day earlier and just after reaching an agreement with Inter, underlined the fact that for the player “the matter of his professional future is not related to the matter of money … he makes a priority of other things”. The president said he spoke to the player “to tell him that Inter are enthusiastic about the idea of being able to count on his services”.

Satisfied with Eto'o

Txiki Begiristain added that “we are talking about a player that has performed fantastically” but also believes that “football can give us another forward that will score the goals he scores.” But he also said that if Eto'o ends up staying at Barça, he will still be a major feature of the squad.

Market situation

2009-07-17_PRESENTACION_DE_MAXWELL_011.JPGBegiristain ended by saying that they would also like to find a new centre back and also spoke about the return of Henrique. “Everything needs to calm down. In the last two weeks there have been some crazy transfers and amounts of money. We hope things calm down again. If the market gives us any chance of reinforcements, then we’ll make them, but it depends on what’s available. We are a buying club.”
Laporta announces agreement in principle with Inter

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Maxwell and Ibrahimovic, parallel pasts
Maxwell and Ibrahimovic have played together for two different teams Ajax and Inter, three at the first and one at the latter. At his presentation, Maxwell spoke about “a great friend. I have spent many years with him, our careers have coincided over time. I have said goodbye to all my team mates, and especially him, because we were room mates”. It has sometimes been said that Ibrahimovic can de difficult to deal with, but Barça’s new signing said that “I never saw any problem with him among the squad, and I have never seen any kind of indiscipline involving Ibrahimovic”.

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