Instead of indulging in pointless Football Manager-style fantasizing about who Barcelona will buy this summer, let’s look at the real reasons behind these rumours.
Football agents have a bad name, a really bad name, and it is times like these when they earn their ‘pond scum’ epithets.
Let’s take Cristiano Ronaldo’s case. He’s contracted to Manchester United till 2010, but he has been pimped by his agent to Real Madrid and Barcelona for the last year or so. His agent has gone on record to say that he ‘offered’ Ronaldo to Barcelona before the World Cup.
Ronny has more sense than to jump ship at the drop of a hat (or a foot, as it is), but he’s still 21 and at that age it’s quite easy to emotionally manipulate players. Manchester United is lucky to have people like Ferguson and Queiroz managing Ronaldo – they’ve kept him in line and ensured that he focuses on football, not on transfer rumours.
Frank Lampard’s case is a bit different, because it’s been going on for longer and has more of a media role in it than his agent only. Still, when agents come out and publicly say that they ‘don’t know what will happen next season’ when the player is clearly contracted for 2 more years, you smell a rat. Lamps has not signed his contract extension, and don’t for a second think that the agent is worried about the club’s future or whether Mourinho stays – Lamps was being pimped through the media long before the current tensions at Chelsea.
Terry and Lamps are loyal to Mourinho, but they are footballers first and foremost and they will play – at Chelsea, if Mourinho leaves. Mourinho’s milked the loyalty card quite a bit, but the reality is that when agents have the ear of their players, it becomes very difficult to talk sense to them.
Lampard’s place is at Stamford Bridge, just as Ronny’s a core part of OT.
Lampard and Ronaldo to Barcelona? Don’t the agents wish it…