Tuesday March 12 2013
Juventus won’t sign Ibrahimovic

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is being linked with a return to Juventus after a Pavel Nedved interview. Antonio Labbate looks at five reasons why such a move won’t happen.

The costs involved are excessive…

The principle hurdle for anyone interested in signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic is not the transfer fee, but his wage demands. The Swedish international earns approximately €12m a season at Paris Saint-Germain, a salary which Milan were delighted to get off their books in the summer.

Juventus may have one of the highest wage bills in Serie A, but they have no room for such extravagances in the current climate. Gigi Buffon is currently their highest paid player thanks to a €6m a campaign deal, but that will come down to about €4m when his new terms kick in at the end of June.

Give Ibra what he wants and you also run the risk of a queue forming outside the office of Beppe Marotta, with agents looking to get their clients increased salaries. Ibra is a top player, no doubt, but there are cheaper ones out there.

His age…

Ibrahimovic will be 32 in October. That’s not to say that he hasn’t got a couple of good seasons ahead of him, but when you buy a player with that date of birth you do so by acknowledging that they have little, if any, future sell-on value.

The average age of the squad is a significant factor that is considered in Turin too. When Marotta arrived at the club, he was primarily asked to lower the squad’s age and cost. It’s no coincidence that Juve today have just three outfield players – excluding the frozen out Vincenzo Iaquinta – who are over the age of 30 – Andrea Barzagli, Andrea Pirlo and Nicolas Anelka.

It’s also worth comparing Ibra’s age with that of other leading forwards on the continent. Real Madrid’s Gonzalo Higuain and Karim Benzema are both 25, Stevan Jovetic of Fiorentina is 23, Napoli’s Edinson Cavani is 26, Atletico Madrid’s Radamel Falcao is 27. That’s not to say that these players are realistic Juventus targets or buys, they are merely examples of players who would have a longer shelf life than Ibra.

He doesn’t guarantee Champions League success

Ibrahimovic fits the Top Player profile which Juventus have publicly been searching for over the last 24 months, but he wouldn’t guarantee success on the continent. The Bianconeri would obviously be a stronger force, especially in Europe, but let us not forget that Ibrahimovic is hardly on first name terms with the Champions League.

One could also argue that, even with Ibra, Juve could still be two or three years away from becoming kings of Europe. And that’s when you have to again consider Ibra’s age – he thus doesn’t fit with the vision at Vinovo. Although the club are obviously playing to win the European Cup, they don’t raise the kind of revenue that Europe’s elite do and boss Antonio Conte recently admitted that there are sides in the competition this season who are “clearly superior” to his.

Why broadcast an interest?

There is absolutely no reason to doubt the sincerity of Pavel Nedved’s Undici TV interview this week. When he says he’d like to bring Ibra back to the club, he means it. But he was speaking from the heart and not as a Juventus official at that point. If the club were truly plotting to sign Ibra for the second time in his career, would an employee go on national television and announce it?

What was more telling was when he was asked about the club’s failure to net a star striker over recent times. “To sign a player who is better than we already have would cost us a lot of money – at the moment we don’t have that and we don’t want to spend that.” That, significantly, was the club official talking.

The 2006 walkout…

While Juventus clearly had to cut costs in the summer of 2006 after their Calciopoli demotion to Serie B, there was the hope that they could keep Zlatan. Then boss Didier Deschamps spoke of his desire to have the former Ajax player at his disposal to bounce straight back to the top flight – yet the forward didn’t really entertain the idea.

That was an understandable stance. He didn’t have the Bianconero history of Buffon, Alessandro Del Piero or David Trezeguet, but the fact that he left the Turin giants for a switch to rivals Inter was a low blow to the Juve faithful. While boss Conte would perhaps welcome an Ibra arrival in 2013, a majority of the fan-base would be cold to the idea.

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Have your say...
no plz ibra stay at psg.we want saurez!
on the 18th March, 2013 at 6:11am
Why should Ibrahimovic have shown loyality when Juve fans booed and forced out Mauro Camorensi when he was seen as too old? Great support for him. Fans are as bad as players.
on the 15th March, 2013 at 2:46pm
We already have Llorente and I believe he will be a much better signing than many think. If we can add one more top quality striker we will be even more dominant than we already are. Players like David Villa, Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain could be available and anyone of those would be a tremendous signing. Jovetic would be amazing, but will Fiorentina sell him to Juventus? I would also like to see more of our youngsters like Masi, Beltrame and Bouy brought into the first team squad.
on the 14th March, 2013 at 11:43pm
In 2006 I wasn't particularly upset when Ibrahimovic walked away. I was more angry that Mutu was the first out of the door, when Juventus salvaged his career, when nobody would touch him after his drugs ban. It was more important that Alex, Pavel, Gigi, Trez and Mauro stayed as they are true Juventus legends. I dread to think how far we would have fallen without them. The loyalty those five players, plus other players like Giorgio, showed was something incredible and may never be seen again.
on the 14th March, 2013 at 11:22pm
Actually, 'Anonymous' highlights our next challenge - life after Pirlo. This style, as beautiful as it it is, can't last for ever. Record every game! I don't doubt we will keep winning, but It may not be this pretty for years to come after Pirlo is gone. Though, why I love this team is that they will surprise me with what ever come s next. In conte i trust!
on the 14th March, 2013 at 12:55pm
Viktoria, u said u have niang, balo and ses. I'm so glad u have niang, if i ever want juve in the cl and want them 2 have a striker that can well and truly hit a post when one on one, il then b jealous of milan's strike.

Sahdia, next time don't throw it out there. Juve do need a top player, the more the better.

Oh viktoria, did you say Milan were unbeaten since December? I think the beating u got last night made up for lost time.
on the 13th March, 2013 at 7:37pm
Personally im not upset that Ibra played for Inter and Milan after leaving Juventus. In fact Adam brings up some quality examples of past players playing for rival clubs. However what upset me as a Juve supporter is what Ibra has said about Juve in his interviews after he left the club. The trash he has said about all his past clubs including Barca, Inter and Ajax.

Also even if it meant Juve would win the CL if he arrived which we all know is highly unlikely i still wouldn't want him back!
on the 13th March, 2013 at 12:55pm
I wouldnt say that if you play for all 3 big clubs your not loyal... Pirlo has done it, Bonucci started at Inter...Vieri has done it...Cassano...Seedoff..both Milan clubs Baggio done it, I think its more commen in Italy than anywhere else for big players to move to rivals.
on the 13th March, 2013 at 9:52am
Juve doesn't need Ibra because of his lack of loyalty and his inability to turn up at big matches. Juve needs to think about long-term options.

I disagree with Elkann's notion that Juve doesn't need superstars. In the current era, they are more capable of producing their own instead of forking out the funds.
on the 13th March, 2013 at 9:47am
I hope Ibrahimovic never joins Juve because he is not loyal at all and he will never have the real heart of a Juventini player the only thing he looks for is money.A loyal player can't play in Juve, inter and milan.
on the 13th March, 2013 at 6:18am
Ibra is a great talent but is a mercenary - hired gun. In all reality he is a faithful as having a pornstar for a spouse. Juve are where Juve are now because we are sum of all parts working in unison and not 11 individuals. Im all for adding a great striker but they have to have humility and honor. Team values first, personal values after.
on the 13th March, 2013 at 1:38am
well, i doubt Ibra will destroy how Juve's play if hes coming, in the other hand, he will bring a new dimension at final third, the problem is just that his demanding wage and his laziness to tracking or chasing the ball
on the 12th March, 2013 at 11:48pm
Leave him where he is. He's exactly the type of player no Italian team should be wasting money on. Lewandowski, with one year left on his contract, would be a much better option.
on the 12th March, 2013 at 11:13pm
I think the media has run out of real stories and had to dig deep to find something interesting to report.

I don't rate traitors and im glad he is history. Wish he never joined Juve in the first place.

Although i do agree with all the points made on this blog i feel that a different blog would have been more interesting.
on the 12th March, 2013 at 10:58pm
I am a massive Juventus fan, i also admire Ibra's talent and ability to change a game and produce moments of magic, however him returning to Turin is inconceivable as he does not fit the Juve mentality and style of play, the fact he is 30+ and has such high wage demands never mind the fact he turned his back on the Bianconeri in 2006. With Llorente arriving in the summer, Juventus should be aiming for a fast agile powerful forward , my view is Alexis Sanchez would be the ideal signing!
on the 12th March, 2013 at 10:28pm
I'm just going to put this out there.. Juve don't need a "top player" as I believe they are all great in their own way, plus if they did get Ibra they may fall into the trap of just doing long balls to him and they have come so far, I would hate to see this happen. I have no problem with him leaving after the scandal in 2006, he was young and let's face it, a forward does have a fairly short career.. with the exception of a few i.e Alex Del Piero.
on the 12th March, 2013 at 10:25pm
Ibra....performs for club on Saturdays and Sundays, but forgets he needs to participate in games on Tuesday and Wednesday nights.

For me, he can rot in hell. He is an arrogant pr*ck with a really bad attitude. He would be poison for the team spirit at Juve.

NO WAY......Stay in Paris and go visit the Lourve, drink your Chateau neuf de Pape, and stay away from Torino.
on the 12th March, 2013 at 10:17pm
The past is the past, if Ibrahimovic returns and wins fans won't care, Conte Juve through and through wants him cuz he is smart, Ibra is better than when he left, IMO he will be a Juve player again and if so Juve will win the champions league the fans would take that wouldn't they? Ibra is a monster and will go on like Drogba till mid 30s at a good level
on the 12th March, 2013 at 9:51pm

That's the real Barca ! Parked the bus still lost !
on the 12th March, 2013 at 9:43pm
Our point about the cl is very short sighted as everyone knows, when ibra leaves a club they win the cl...
on the 12th March, 2013 at 9:29pm
He does not have Juve DNA,he is a traitor.he would without doubt cause trouble in the locker room.The harmony that Antonio Conte has built up even with Mirko Vucinic has been the key to our success.He is unquestionably a quality player however let the mercenary rot in the French league. Forza Juve!!!!!
on the 12th March, 2013 at 8:53pm
You don't go back to the club you left, especially if it didn't end on good terms. As great as Cannavaro was & greatful for what he contributed to the team, he should have never come back for a 2nd spell at Juve. Infact when Canna came back, he was the weak link in the team & glad he didn't last long.

Ibracadabra wass a fantastic player at Juve but I don't see him coming back...
on the 12th March, 2013 at 8:45pm
No thank you ,Ibra can stay in Paris and eat bread
on the 12th March, 2013 at 8:42pm
NO NO NO NO NO NO. He is trash who left the team during it's time of need. Just like Juve should of never brought Cannovaro back, they shouldn't bring Ibra back.
on the 12th March, 2013 at 8:38pm
Ibra stay in Paris.
on the 12th March, 2013 at 8:27pm

I would not as it is right now trade SES for Ibra. Acm have such a promising team. 5 players that plays from starts are under 23
on the 12th March, 2013 at 7:28pm
Ibracadabra is a GOD!! Im a massive Fulham fan but a die hard Zlatan fan what he does with a ball is magic!!!!
on the 12th March, 2013 at 7:07pm
As A Juve Fan, may I remind you Milan Fans He is the Sole reason SES never Flourished. He is too demanding and Arrogant. As much as I dont like or care about Zamparini, he does have a point in his tirades about Zlatan affecting Pastore in PSG
on the 12th March, 2013 at 6:48pm
To keep it short & concise - He is Good, but I can't help but sense he is a JINX. Plus Hell yeah he is Arrogant.
on the 12th March, 2013 at 6:46pm
@ Viktoria

Are you giving an impression that those you mentiond better than Ibra ? Or is it just your jealousy again getting the better of you?

on the 12th March, 2013 at 6:17pm

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