Remember that guy who racked up 48 goals and 17 assists in three seasons with Barcelona, collecting eight trophies in the process?
Well, that guy is gone now. He's headed to Atletico Madrid.
If you've been living under a rock lately (trust me, if you're a Barca fan, you're better off staying there), the latest news involves the Spanish giants selling the one and only David Villa to Madrid for (drum roll, please) €5.1 million, via ESPNFC.com.
It wasn't exactly a surprise that Villa was sold. His first-team opportunities had dipped the past few months, and you can't expect a top player to hang around for that.
But what was astonishing was the fact that Barcelona only sold the 31-year-old for €5.1 million. The general consensus was that he would be sold for around €12-14 million this summer.
Now, fortunately for Barca, it hasn't appeared to jeopardize its move for top-flight Brazil defender Thiago Silva, who reportedly reached a tentative agreement with the club, via Spanish newspaper Sport (via Football Espana).
But it's about setting yourself up best moving forward. And make no mistake about it, selling Villa for €5.1 million is not setting yourself up very well.
It's possible that Barcelona's board of directors wanted to reward Villa for his professionalism and dignity throughout the years by expediting the process. But first and foremost, this is a business, and you can't just throw money away on a whim.
Keep in mind, this is a player Barca paid €40 million for just three years ago. Yes, he's older now and Barcelona couldn't expect to receive anywhere near that today, but surely, €12-14 million isn't too much to ask. It's sloppy work, and you don't have to be a diehard Barcelona fan to understand that.
Barca may be able to sweep this under the pitch, so to speak, by landing Silva, but it shouldn't be taken lightly by the Barca faithful. If the Blaugrana had sold Villa for a just price, there would have been more room to improve the club.
You should always be looking to maximize your return in a business, or on a club for that matter. You can bet Atletico Madrid is laughing all the way to the bank.