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Samba in the City

Image: Ronaldinho: time to move on

Guillem Balague told Revista that Ronaldinho's link with Manchester City is no joke - it could happen.

Guillem Balague told Revista that Ronaldinho's link with Manchester City is no joke - it could happen. It's been a troubled season for the two-times World Player of the Year as injury and off the field problems have taken the toll and as he is sidelined for six weeks due to injury, Guillem Balague believes we have seen the last of Ronaldinho in a Barca shirt. Ballague told Revista: "He's injured and will be out for at least six weeks - it's a real injury before you ask - that could be the end of him as a Barcelona player. "I don think we will see him wearing the Barcelona shirt again unless he plans to join the team on the summer tour." Manchester City have entered the race for the Brazilian's signature and Balague says he is certainly taking the offer seriously. "It's well reported that Ronaldinho's brother and agent (Roberto de Assis) have met representatives of Manchester City and of AC Milan and that Barcelona have met representatives of both teams. "What is not so well known is that Ronaldinho has had in his hands a report that shows what Manchester City plan to do this summer, a report that shows how important the fans are for the club, about the stadium, and Ronaldinho is actually said to his team-mates that it wouldn't be such a bad idea to go to Manchester City.


"We're not saying it may happen, we're not saying it is going to happen, but we are definitely saying that he is seriously considering it. "It's important that Man City plan to pay him €20 million and when he was asked about the weather in Manchester etcetera he said 'no, that's fine, they plan to build their team around me'. "We know that Milan will have their say and that Man City will have to pay some money to Barcelona - around €20 million. "But the fact that his brother was at the City of Manchester stadium and the fact that Ronaldinho himself has been discussing the move with team-mates means that it's a big possibility - don't joke about it." Our man in Spain, Graham Hunter also believes that Ronaldinho could well be playing in the Premier League next season, especially if Sven Goran Eriksson plans his team around him.
Hunter said: "Should Barcelona reach the Champions League final Ronaldinho will struggle to be fit for it so I don't think he'll play competitively for Barcelona again. "Moreover, last night in a nearby hotel to the stadium, the Vice President, Beguiristain (Director of Football), Roberto de Assis and also (Super agent) Pini Zahavi met to discuss this very offer from Manchester City. "The reason it sits so well with what Ronaldinho rather than his brother wants is that maybe the time is right for him to go to a club where they need him more a little bit more than he needs them. "That would suggest his mentality is not to get back at the top to prove that he can be the best in the World again, rather he wants to go somewhere where he will be treated like the Messiah. "That may say he is settling for second best but Manchester City's offer is not only competitive but known to Barcelona and potentially acceptable."


Hunter also feels that Thierry Henry will head for pastures new next season after a disappointing debut season at the Camp Nou. "In my opinion everything is looking to shape towards Henry leaving, but Barcelona will not take a heavy hit on Thierry Henry's transfer fee. "They know he has not been playing to a standard that is expected but they also take into account that he is desperately missing his young daughter and that he is broken up about his recent separation from his wife. "For various reasons, including physical reasons, we haven't seen the Thierry Henry Barcelona thought they were buying."

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