On Tuesday, the Sun Online, the epitome of fact checking and accurate reporting, reported that world renowned soccer star Ronaldinho accepted a 5 year deal to leave his present team, Barcelona, and sign a 5 year deal worth £58 million (about 117 million U.S. dollars) with Chelsea.
It is important to note that no other source has confirmed or denied Ronaldinho’s signing in writing (i.e. soccernet, goal.com, etc.) although it was shown on ESPN’s ticker, and discussed on Pardon the Interruption, and Fox Soccer Report. Any written references to this situation have only been piggybacks on the Sun’s article, and even the Sun article said that Ronaldinho still had the option to turn down the deal (I assume there is some provision in his contract that allows him to do this? It seems odd to be able to accept a deal, then revoke your acceptance for apparently no good reason – ed.note).
So, why is Ronaldinho not on his way to Chelsea right now (assuming this deal is real)? Well, for one, for those of you not studying your FIFA rulebook, the next transfer window isn’t until December 31st 2007, with the last window ending on August 31st (A transfer window is analogous to the trading period and trade deadline in the NFL. You can read more about transfer windows here) meaning that even if this deal were to happen, it seems as if Ronaldinho would not play any games for Chelsea till January 2008, at the earliest.
Furthermore, Chelsea would have to pay a transfer fee to Barcelona for Ronaldinho’s services (he still has 3 years remaining on his current contract); a fee which the Sun is reporting will reach upwards of £70M.
So, while Ronaldinho may be on his way to Chelsea, its definitely not happening anytime soon, and there are certainly a lot of details that need to be worked out before it happens. If it does happen though, his salary (almost $25 million a year for 5 years) would be truly incredible. It could definitely be an Alex Rodriguez/Scott Boras starting point. Ronaldinho is represented by his brother, Roberto de Assis. Unfortunately, I’m not quite sure how to contact him.
Sports Agent News: Alex Rodriguez. Future owner of the Cubs