Will Ibra-Eto’o swap actually happen?
It would be among the biggest swap deals ever in soccer but there is a long way to go before it becomes reality.
Inter Milan and Barcelona may have agreed to the transfers of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Samuel Eto’o (plus a bit of cash for the Italians on top) but the players have yet to agree terms and that looks trickier than might be expected.
Manchester City pulled out of talks with Eto’o after becoming frustrated while media reports say he is asking for astronomical wages.
Ibrahimovic on the other hand is reportedly the most paid player in the world and Barca will have to be careful not to destroy their wage structure if they want to recruit him.
Furthermore, Barca president Joan Laporta met Inter’s Massimo Moratti earlier in the close season and they both agreed a swap deal was not a good idea because they still wanted to keep their strikers.
The situation has changed since then, with Ibrahimovic repeating a desire for a fresh challenge and Eto’o looking more like departing, but in soccer money talks and there could still be more twists.
Sweden’s Ibrahimovic, away in the U.S. with Inter which could complicate matters, seems more keen than the Cameroon international. Ibra would definitely be more fed up if he agreed terms with Barca but the swap collapsed because Inter would not meet Eto’o’s demands.
Then Inter’s Jose Mourinho, eager to know who his main striker will be as soon as possible, would have to use his famed motivation skills to make Ibra commit fully again to the Serie A champions.
PHOTO: Inter Milan’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic (L) passes the ball around Club America’s Juan Carlos Silva during the second half of their World Football Challenge at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California July 19, 2009. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith