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Newcastle are the bookies’ favourites to win the Championship but relegated clubs have a very poor record of bouncing straight back – Simon Hopper analyses the best ante-post bets ahead of the new season.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has finally signed a five-year deal with Barcelona and claimed that his decision to leave Inter was motivated by being “fed up” with the city of Milan and Italian football in general.

The Sweden striker has joined the European champions after he passed a medical in Spain and launched parting shot at his former club.

“When did I start thinking about moving somewhere else? In December, before Christmas,” he is reported as saying on Tuttomercatoweb.it. “The more I saw Barcelona play, the more I wanted to leave.

“Moreover, I was fed up of Italy, of Milan, of your football: you play badly, there’s too much stress. In short, I needed something else. Did Inter pay me more than any other footballer? No comment.”

A statement on Barcelona’s website confirming they had paid Inter Milan €46m euros for the Swedish striker, with Samuel Eto’o and Alexander Hleb also joining the Italian champions in the ‘swap’ deal.

Barca confirmed that Eto’o is valued at €20m in the deal, while Inter will have the chance to buy Hleb for an initial €10m euros once his season-long loan spell is concluded.

”It’s a very big thing for me,” the Swede said. ”There comes a time when you want to develop more and my desire to come to Barcelona was too big to stay at Inter.”

And he confirmed that Inter president Massimo Moratti had given him permission to leave several months ago should an offer from Barca arrive.

”Moratti helped me in every way, he did everything for me and my family,” he said. ”I said to Moratti a few months ago: ‘Nobody can get me, only one club can get me and that’s Barcelona’, and he told me: ‘if you want it like that you will get it like that’.

”So all my respect, because it is not easy to sell player that means so much to the team,” he said.

The 27-year-old admits he hopes to emulate Eto’o who was a prolific scorer during his time at the Spanish champions.

”I’m not coming here to be Samuel Eto’o, I’m somebody else, somebody new, but I will try to achieve as much as Eto’o, or even more,” he added.

Barca president Joan Laporta said he was thrilled at the arrival of the Swede.

”He is not a conformist, he is ambitious, a winner, an authentic man with strong feelings and he wanted to come to Barcelona,” he said. ”(Coach) Pep (Guardiola) said that Zlatan was the ideal player for us, so we are really happy to have him here.”

Newcastle are the bookies’ favourites to win the Championship but relegated clubs have a very poor record of bouncing straight back – Simon Hopper analyses the best ante-post bets ahead of the new season.

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