Barcelona president Joan Laporta has defended the club’s attempts to sign Zlatan Ibrahimovic and insisted the money involved is not comparable to that splashed out by Real Madrid this summer.
Madrid have spent over 200million euros bringing in Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Karim Benzema and Raul Albiol while so far it has been much quieter at the Nou Camp where they have only signed Maxwell.
Barca are now set to complete their own big-money deal as they have agreed a fee with Inter Milan of 45million euros plus Samuel Eto’o for Ibrahimovic. Alexander Hleb will also join Inter on loan.
However, Laporta claims the Catalans’ transfer policy is still much different to their bitter rivals.
“It’s a different sort of deal, because it’s based around different financial amounts, which are fairly reasonable,” he said. “And because it also involves the sale and the loan deal of a player that we were working on before this deal. It’s not a very expensive deal. It’s come about from talent and hard work.”
Laporta also revealed that the club had decided to part ways with Eto’o even before he met his Inter counterpart Massimo Moratti.
“As a result of a conversation that I had with Eto’o before my meeting with Moratti, we understood that it was time to look for a team for him and 24 hours later the possibility of going to Inter came up. “Eto’o will go to a club where they will also treat him with respect.”
Reports suggest Eto’o’s agent is currently in talks with Inter and the deal could be completed shortly. Laporta, who confirmed the clubs are set to hold talks with the players, admitted he did not know what would happen if Eto’o decided not to move to the San Siro.
“It’s a scenario that we’re not contemplating at the moment,” he said. “We have come to an agreement with Inter about the fee and we are waiting for Inter to come to an agreement with Eto’o and us with Ibrahimovic. I talked to Eto’o after the meeting with Moratti that night and then Inter talked with his agent and Mourinho talked to Eto’o.”
Laporta also admitted he is at a loss as to why Valencia striker David Villa’s move to the Nou Camp collapsed.
“Incomprehensibly, our offer was not accepted by Valencia. We had information that said that the player had word that, for a determined amount, he could leave the club. And Barca offered this amount and more. That’s why I say incomprehensibly.”