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Mid-Day Ticker: Roma lands Bojan in odd deal, U.S. women still No. 1 and more

Bojan (Getty Images)

Rising Spanish striker Bojan Krkic is on his way to Roma. For at least the next two years anyway.

The Serie A club landed the 20-year-old forward on a €12 million deal from Barcelona, but the defending European champions put a buy-back clause in his contract, meaning they have the option to bring him back to Camp Nou after the 2012-2013 season for a €13 million fee. According to reports, if Roma blocks that option, then the original price of the transfer skyrockets to €40 million.

Bojan, a member of Spain's U-21 European championship team and a Barcelona youth product, scored seven goals in all competitions in limited action last season, but he would have been buried on the depth chart behind the likes of David Villa, Pedro and new signing Alexis Sanchez had he stayed put.

Here are a few more stories from around the soccer world:


Despite falling in the final of the Women's World Cup, the United States women's national team is still ranked No. 1 in the world.

The latest FIFA women's rankings are out, and the top five spots are unchanged despite this summer's results. World Cup champion Japan remains at No. 4, while the United States is followed by Germany and Brazil, respectively.

The big jumper among the top 10 is England, which moved up four spots to No. 6, one spot ahead of the French team that it lost to in the World Cup quarterfinals.


Arsenal has come to life in this summer's transfer window.

After securing Gervinho from Lille and making an unsuccessful bid for Everton's Phil Jagielka, the club has been given the green light for a proposed transfer of Valencia's Juan Mata.

Despite the player insisting he is happy to remain with the La Liga club, Valencia has well-publicized financial issues and has been forced to sell some of its prize assets. David Silva and David Villa departed the club last summer, and this time around, Mata looks like he could be London bound.

Head coach Unai Emery stated that he wished to hold on to the player, but if a lucrative bid came in, the club may be forced to accept the offer. With Cesc Fabregas potentially on the outs, Arsenal could look to Mata as a piece of the rebuilding process. A Spanish international, Mata has made 129 appearances for Valencia and netted 33 goals in his four year stay at the club.


Fulham advanced to the third round of UEFA Europa League qualifying via a 4-0 victory over Crusaders on Thursday to take their qualifying tie by a 7-1 aggregate.

Andrew Johnson, Damien Duff, Bobby Zamora and Steve Sidwell scored for the Cottagers, who will meet Croatian side RNK Split in the next round. Should Fulham, which qualified for the tournament via the its fair-play standing, advance past Split, it'd have one more playoff round to get through before making the group stage.

Clint Dempsey has not yet appeared for Fulham in Europa qualifying, as he remains on rest after the CONCACAF Gold Cup.


Manchester United has offered Park Ji-sung a two-year contract to extend his stay at Old Trafford. The 30-year-old South Korean has quietly been an important figure for the Red Devils, with whom has he been since 2005. He retired from international soccer earlier this year.


What do you think of the Bojan deal? Think the FIFA women's rankings make any sense? Do you think Mata would succeed in the Premier League? Think Fulham can continue advancing without Dempsey? How important do you see Park being to Manchester United's continued success?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Er, scratch that. England and Brazil did not officially lose any games.

    Brazil played a really easy schedule though (only relatively high-quality win was over Norway). They probably gained some ranking points vis a vis the USA and Germany, but not enough to overtake them.

  2. England officially went 2-0-2 at the World Cup; France went 2-3-1. Penalty shootouts are considered draws.

    The way the World Cup shook out, with every team losing at least once, there wasn’t likely to be much movement.

  3. Bojan has a chance to grow and impress. He won’t be getting those 4 or 5 sitters from Xavi and company, so he’ll need to create on his own a bit. Should be interesting.

  4. They beat Japan 2-0, if I recall. And technically, I dont believe it is a loss if you loose in PKs. I think that is officiallly a draw. Plus England are a better team; more complete at least. France is going nowhere with the goalie they had at the WC.

  5. So it’s basically a loan with a 27m buyout option, accompanied by a really low interest loan from cash rich Roma to cash poor Barca.

  6. Doubt this happens with anyone else besides barça. everyone else it would have been a loan deal

    On one hand I want to say they really treat their players like family and on the other why did they go after so many players if they don’t have the space for them.

  7. Interesting that ESPN is reporting that Chelsea has agreed a similar deal with Barca for Oriol Romeu; 2 year deal that includes a buyback clause. Wheeling and dealing.

  8. As a Roma fan, I think (hope!) you’re wrong. 12 million euro for Krkic is cheap. They bought Jeremy Menez for a similar price just a couple years ago. If Krkic tears it up and wants to stay, then they’ll negotiate with Barca over the rest (the 40 million is placeholder, similar to those stupid “buyout” clauses in players’ contracts – always subject to negotiation). If Krkic plays well enough that Barca wants him back and he wants to return to Barca in two years, then that stinks for Roma, but they did have his services for two years and makes a small profit on the sale. Bottom line – if he scores enough goals that Barcelona feels that have a place for him, Roma got more than enough return on their 12m investment. Or at least, that’s my hope!!

  9. This kid is supposed to be the greatest thing since cable TV so it seems Roma are banking on him breaking out in a big way in the next two years.

    If he turns into the Master Blaster then maybe the 40 million will be worth it by then. If not then maybe they still have a really good player for 2 years.

    It will be interesting to see if this sort of thing is even legal and if anyone else will copy it.

  10. I don’t think ppl understand that Roma is going to have to cover the difference of that $40 million if he ends up staying at Roma. I believe that’s what the report means; I don’t think it’s just saying that Bojan ends up being worth 40 mil but Roma keeps him for only 13.

  11. Yes, Roma would end up having to pay the difference if they choose to keep him. But if he pays dividends, maybe he’ll be worth that much? That’s a lot of money.

  12. I don`t get it, who cares about fifa rankings, It doesn`t make me happy to be ranked number 1 in the world if my team is not the world champion, having the easiest final ever and missing tons of chances, its still sad…

  13. I don’t disagree, Barca is genius for making the deal like it is. Hell, it’s possible they just started a new trend of transfers for young players (as mentioned by Poo in the post below).

    Now the legal nerd in me is wondering what the implications for transactions like this will be…

  14. I remember seeing an interview with Dempsey and he said his vacation plans were only about 10 days worth of vacation. he should be back in action pretty soon, or already is with the team for all I know, so maybe they are saving him so as to not cup tie

  15. If Hans Backe were coach of the US Women I bet he’d be happy with the #1 FIFA ranking over winning the World Cup/

  16. I don’t think it is a bad deal for Roma. If they think he can help get them into the CL or win the Serie A it is totally worth it. Maybe they are only expecting to have him for a season or two. They have been competative in Serie A and maybe he can get them over the top. Plus, I feel like their forwards were pretty weak last season.

  17. Thats a pretty bad deal for Roma, my god. I can easily see bojan thriving in their team only to have barca decide to buy him back. Maybe 1 mil means that much to them but man that 40 mil is steeeep. If I were them I’d have negotiated it to where barca could buy him back for more around 20. That way they would at least turn a decent profit. However he is a talent and will certainly help their squad immensely in the short term.

  18. my thought was it’s the Cesc situation that probably made them do this.

    Prediction – going to be the new norm for hot young players like this.

  19. Anyone else think Dempsey hasn’t been playing so as to not cup tie him an lower his value in a potential transfer? Wishful thinking perhaps but it makes a little sense for a player who has garnered some transfer interest.

  20. One thing to consider with the Krkic transfer is that it’s entirely possible that Barca still won’t have room for him two years from now. He could blossom at Roma and score 20 goals a year, in which case 13 million euros would be an absolute steal. On the flip side, Roma got a potentially world-class striker at a significant discount. That said, if Krkic wants to stay in Rome it’s likely that they’ll negotiate a lesser fee – Barca won’t buy him back for 13 million just to have him sit behind Messi, Sanchez, Pedro, Villa or whatever additional reinforcements they’ve signed in the meantime. Both teams do well with this deal – and the bigges beneficiary of all is likely to be Krkic.

  21. Not sure why Roma agrees to that, but Italian teams always have crazy deals with all the partial ownership of youth players. I would be surprised if at the end of 2 years though he would fit into Barca’s plans. Now they may buy him back just as good business, but I find it hard to believe he is ready to crack the starting 11 by then.

  22. I think this language means that Roma would owe Barca 28 million in addition to 12 million they paid as part of the original transfer price. If Bojan turns out to be a bust, Barca keeps the 12 million. If Bojan turns out to be a stud, Barca gets him back for peanuts (returns 12 million plus pays 1 million extra) or Roma keeps him for a total fee for 40 million.

  23. Shrewd piece of business on the part of Barca. I like it no matter how you look at it.

    Additionally, it reinforces the funds for a final bid for Cesc’s services.

  24. I did see that, but come 2 years down the road, will he have developed enough to be worth the 40 million? That’s my issue with the whole deal. To pay an additional 28 million, the guy has to be an absolute stud for Roma to consider blocking the transfer.

  25. If you read a little deeper in the post… “According to reports, if Roma blocks that option, then the original price of the transfer skyrockets to €40 million.”

    So they have every incentive to play him more, as they could see his value jump substantially. Works well for Bojan as he’s a “real” member of the squad as opposed to a 6-month loaner.

  26. So they’re essentially going to be paid one million to develop him for the next 2 years; that’s assuming Bojan develops into a stud as people keep saying he will.

    On the one hand, it’s a decent deal, but on the other, Roma has incentive to play him as little as possible in order to prevent Barca from buying him back.


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