2010 FIFA World Cup: Zlatan Ibrahimovic To Leave Barcelona?

Luis SandovalContributor IMay 27, 2010

VILLARREAL, SPAIN - MAY 01:  Zlatan Ibrahimovic of FC Barcelona sits on the bench during the La Liga match between Villarreal CF and FC Barcelona at El Madrigal stadium on May 1, 2010 in Villarreal, Spain.  (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images)
Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

With the eyes of the football world focused in South Africa, the summer transfer market has not been as active as in previous years.

While some players want to sign their transfers and contracts before the World Cup kicks off, others want to wait until the end of the tournament hoping to have a good tournament and increase their profits.

It is a risk both ways, if a player passes on an offer and has a bad World Cup, then he will likely end up losing money. On the other hand, if a player signs for a moderate sum of money and then has a great World Cup, he will lose money. 

The biggest saga of the year so far has been Cesc Fabregas' move to F.C. Barcelona. A lot has been said about the Arsenal's star intentions, Barcelona's desire to have him, and Wegner's reluctance to let him go. However, it seems now that they are going to let things cool down and wait until the end of the World Cup to negotiate his transfer.

Besides Fabregas' move, nothing extremely relevant had happened until about two days ago. It seems that Barcelona's signing of spanish striker David Villa has opened up the back door for Zlatan Ibrahimovic to leave the club. 

While the team doesn't want him to leave, the Swede never looked comfortable with his role for the Catalans, and allegedly would welcome a move. 

Reportedly, several clubs—among them Manchester City and A.C. Milan—are interested in the Swedish international. While neither team has made an official offer, Spanish newspaper El Mundo Deportivo  reports that Silvio Berlusconi—Milan's Owner—is trying to cook up a deal.

Allegedly, Berlusconi is searching for another star to add to his aging team, and would like to see Zlatan wearing Milan's colors. The offer would be €35 million plus Klass-Jan Huntelaar or Marco Borriello—neither of whom had a particularly great season.

If that is indeed true, the offer would be significantly less than what Barcelona paid last summer for Zlatan's services—€46 million plus Samuel E'too. 

Zlatan knows the city of Milan—he played for Inter— and knows Italian football. At Milan he could be the main focus up front and won't have to drop back to receive the ball and create plays.

The problem lays in whether or not Barcelona accepts the offer. With David Villa and Bojan Krkic in the squad, it would seem that Zlatan has no place. However, Pep Guardiola could use Villa as a replacement to Henry and keep the Swede for another season. But it is all a question of opinion.

Another issue is whether Barcelona wants either Huntelaar or Borriello. Huntelaar had a poor showing during his time at Real Madrid and was never in great form for Milan. Borriello is more of the same, he has not been able to crack Milan's main squad and is at best an irregular player. If either of them was to go to Barcelona it would only be to fight with Bojan for a place in the bench—and I'm not sure they could beat the Spaniard.

The offer doesn't seem terribly appealing, but Barcelona's interest on Fabregas and the possibility of high transfer fee might clear some doubts. After all, those €35 million could come in handy when it is time to pay for Cesc. 

The summer is young, and there are still two more months to clear things up.

Let's let the temperature rise, things simmer and wait to see what happens.