Success in the summer transfer market is all relative but some clubs are better at it than others. Barcelona must be delighted that they got £17.5milllion from Milan for Ronaldinho. Stringing along Manchester City helped to bump up the price considerably.
Ronaldinho is just the sort of trophy signing Milan were after but I can’t help but wonder how he will fit into a forward line that already boasts two outstanding Brazilians in Kaka and Alexandre Pato and will also have the powerful figure of Marco Borriello, who was so effective for Genoa last season.
There are rumours in Milan, admittedly from the blue and black half of the city, that yesterday’s presentation of Ronaldinho by Milan was organised to coincide with Jose Mourinho’s first training session at Inter. No prizes for guessing who graces the front of this morning’s papers.
The rivalry between the Milan clubs is likely to dominate this season’s Serie A contest, even though Juventus look to have made some useful signings and will have a sizeable impact on their return to the Champions League. But the big story is likely to be the contrast between the efficiency of Inter’s new-look Mourinho machine and the Brazilian flair over at Milan.
Ronaldinho’s move to Italy will do little to unblock the bottlenecks that are currently holding up a number of major summer deals. The situation at Real Madrid is a little like that of a housing sale chain. While they wait for a deal for Cristiano Ronaldo to be resolved, Madrid are reluctant to sanction the sale of Robinho to Chelsea and are also reluctant to sanction any bid for Valencia’s David Villa, who would be their alternative big-name signing if the move for Ronaldo fails.
In England, there’s a similar situation with Gareth Barry. Liverpool are stalling on the funds to meet Aston Villa’s asking price after they failed to sell Xabi Alonso to Juventus, who have bought Christian Poulsen instead. And while they wait for the Barry situation to resolve itself, Villa themselves do not have the money to buy David Bentley from Blackburn.
On the subject of Blackburn, is it any surprise that they find themselves fielding bids for key players such as Bentley, Brad Friedel and Stephen Warnock. I seem to remember that Rovers did very little to stop Mark Hughes jumping ship for Man City a few weeks back. They “reluctantly” gave permission for Hughes to negotiate with City. In doing do, they left themselves open to bids for their best players. They can’t now claim one rule for managers and another for players.