Barca look to avoid Bojan becoming the next Fabregas
As the young striker completes his move to AS Roma, Chris Matthews ponders whether Barcelona have ensured Bojan will not be the next Cesc Fabregas ,
The transfer of BarcelonaÃ¢ÂÂs Bojan Krkic to Roma is one that had been predicted ever since Luis Enrique left Barcelona B to take charge at the Stadio Olimpico.
It is now confirmed that Bojan will represent the Giallorossi in the coming season, however the real intrigue lies within the finer details of the move.
Roma have acquired the 20-year-old forward for Ã¢ÂÂ¬12 million, but Barcelona have included a buy-back clause that allows the Catalans to repurchase Bojan for Ã¢ÂÂ¬13 million at the end of the 2012/13 season.
Should the young Spaniard rejoin Barca then it would only be at a Ã¢ÂÂ¬1 million loss, a small price to pay for a player who would presumably at that stage enjoyed two solid seasons of action in one of EuropeÃ¢ÂÂs top leagues.
Roma are under no obligation to accept this deal, but to keep Bojan themselves, the Italians must pay a further Ã¢ÂÂ¬28 million taking the total value of the deal to Ã¢ÂÂ¬40 million.
So what is clear is that Barcelona accept Bojan needs first-team football if he is to reach the dizzy heights predicted of him when he made his debut for the club against Osasuna in September 2007.
However with the European Champions adding Chilean international Alexis Sanchez to their already potent forward line, there appears little room for Bojan, who has made 163 appearances for BarcaÃ¢ÂÂs first team, scoring 41 goals.
From BarcelonaÃ¢ÂÂs insistence in the buy-back option in the deal, it appears that they have not yet given up hope of Bojan establishing himself as a world-class striker. The Catalans have ensured that, should the forward blossom in Rome, and be wanted back at the Camp Nou, then there will be no protracted Fabregas-style saga to bring the La Masia graduate home.
The Arsenal captainÃ¢ÂÂs proposed move back to the club he left at the age of 16 has dominated gossip columns throughout this summer, as well as the two or three preceeding it. The midfielder left the club on a free transfer and it looks as if Barca will have to pay over Ã¢ÂÂ¬35 million to get him on a plane home.
The Champions League winners suffered a similar scenario when centre-back Gerard Pique joined Manchester United on a free transfer back in 2004. Barcelona would then go on to pay ÃÂ£5 million to secure his return in 2008.
Both the Pique deal and any potential conclusion to the Fabregas saga present painful losses for the club that schooled the players at the famous La Masia academy.
Bojan was part of the Spain side that won the Under-21 European Championships in Denmark this summer, overcoming Switzerland 2-0 in the final.
Also in that team was the outstanding midfielder and scorer of an audacious 40-yard free kick in the final, BojanÃ¢ÂÂs former clubmate, Thiago Alcantara.
Thiago appeared to relish the opportunity to showcase his skills on the world stage and put in a number of impressive performances as Spain won the tournament.
The playmaker, son of former Brazilian World-Cup winner Mazinho, has been tipped for great things for a number of years.
However, he has found himself behind arguably the greatest midfield trio in world football, in the Barcelona pecking order, and instead features for the B team.
Barcelona B finished third and were only denied a place in the promotion play-off due to the presence of their first team in that division.
It is very possible Thiago will have to move away from the Camp Nou if he is to gain the first-team experience required for him to fulfil his enormous potential.
Should Barca allow Thiago to leave, it now seems likely that a deal similar to that which has seen Bojan leave the club will be put in place to ensure a smooth road back to Catalonia, should a vacancy arise in the European ChampionsÃ¢ÂÂ midfield.