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Pique Rejoins Barca

Barcelona agreed to a £6m fee with Manchester United for 21-year-old defender Gerard Pique, who arrived at the Theatre of Dreams from Barcelona in 2004.

Pique was supposed to be the up and coming replacement for Rio Ferdinand and or Nemanja Vidic, but there was really no way to break through with those two it appears. I’m sure Manchester would have liked to hold on to him in case of an injury, but perhaps the money was too good to pass up. This is a business you know.

The question I had was what was the original transfer fee paid to Barcelona by Manchester United, or was this another situation where an English club picked off one of Barcelona’s trainees on a free transfer, as Arsenal did with Fran Merida?

Barcelona yesterday won a £2.1 million lawsuit against Fran Merida, Arsenal's 17-year-old midfield player, which could have serious implications for other clubs in Britain.

The system isn’t supposed to work that way. You don’t fight to get back a player that your club trained as a footballer originally. And on top of that, it’s got to be hard to have to wrench this player away from a rival who just beat you in the Champions League.

But worse things have happened, there have been situations where players have been loaned out, and then come back to haunt you in the Champions League, scoring goals against you! See Fernando Morientes for Monaco against Real Madrid back in 2004. I think they’ve probably learned their lesson. From now on they’ll write in the contract that the player can’t play against them if they loan a player out.

Overall, this must eat at Barcelona, and something they’re trying to curb and annual; other teams plucking up their offspring. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. I think Bush says it even better in this YouTube clip.

They can’t develop a player like Cesc Fabregas, and then see him go on a tear and help another club in England. Es estupio.

It’s sort of like developing a cancer cure and seeing another biotech company take it to market. Well, it’s not like that at all, but sort of. The pain is in the pocket book; as you have to turn around and buy a player instead of using the youth player who’s hand you once held as he grew up.

But if you’re a club with so many good players, there comes a time when you might have to let some players go that you’d rather not. Your club does need all these players though, what with all the games you play, from the Champions League, to the league itself, to inter-league tournaments, and then friendlies and international games that the stars often play. You’ll need to have a cupboard full of players. The top clubs balance this out, with youth players they develop and then stars they bring over to replace aging ones. You just don’t like to see your youth players scooped up and then sold back to you.

Pure Gossip worthy of the E Channel: According to Wikipedia, Pique is dating Beckham’s sister Joanne Beckham, who’s also dated Jermain Defoe.

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