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Sep 2, 2010

Zubizarreta lifts lid on Barca spending

Barcelona technical director Andoni Zubizarreta has revealed Liverpool received €24 million for Javier Mascherano.

Barca have been looking to adopt a more careful approach to their finances since Sandro Rosell replaced Joan Laporta as the club's president this summer, and there had been some debate about the size of the fee paid to Liverpool for Mascherano.

However, Zubizarreta said: "We paid Liverpool €20 million plus the €4 million that came from the player by reducing his salary."

He added: "The total salaries of the squad have gone down by 5%. We weren't looking for this but we wanted a competitive team."

Barca have also allowed several players to go out on loan, with Keirrison joining Santos, Victor Sanchez leaving for Getafe, Henrique heading to Racing, Martin Caceres going to Sevilla and Alexander Hleb moving to Birmingham, and Zubizarreta revealed all the loans include the option to make the deals permanent.

Zubizarreta also reopened the Cesc Fabregas transfer saga, saying the club had offered €40 million but had not been able to persuade Arsenal to discuss the matter.

"Both the club and the player did as much as possible," he said. "Our second offer was €40 million. From the moment Arsenal said they didn't want to negotiate, we respected their position.

"We would have liked to have signed him, but we weren't able to negotiate. It wasn't a disappointment - it was simply impossible. Thanks to the conversations, we have re-established contact with Arsenal."

Despite the departures of the loanees and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Barca made no effort to sign a replacement striker and Zubizarreta remains confident in the players at Pep Guardiola's disposal.

"Barca always has a team that wants to win. Historically, that's the way it's always been and that's the way it is now. The fact that the first team squad consists of 19 players isn't important. We have plenty of cover because there are players in Barca B that could be in the first team. We'd had plenty of offers from the Spanish first division and from around Europe for them.

"We have a balanced squad. We'll keep on looking at what we have and at the market but there's no pressure to bring players in from the reserves or in the winter transfer window."

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