Joan Laporta will not be outdone by perennial archrival Real Madrid. In a surprise move this morning, the Barça president signed Samuel E'too from Inter Milan in an effort to "steal the thunder" from tomorrow's predicted sellout crowd for the official presentation of Ricardo Kaka as Real's new star midfielder. Kaka is being presented after having won the Confederations Cup with Brazil and being awarded the Golden Ball trophy as the best player in the tournament.
Laporta would not disclose the amount paid for E'too but many suspect that it amounts to 5% of the 47 million euros Inter paid Barça for the Cameroon striker just the day before, or the interest for one day at current Euribor rates.
With E'too's signing, Laporta aims to silence detractors critical of his team reinforcement strategy. "Let's see Real top that!" cried Laporta. "We've signed the best striker in the world for only 2.35 million euros."
E'too was sold to IM the day before in order to recoup some of the money he cost the Barça club. Had the team not sold Samuel, he would have finished out his contract at the club becoming a free agent next summer. Were that the case, the club would not have seen a cent.
Laporta figures he's made the deal of the century saving the club nearly 45 million euros. It's hard to argue with that kind of logic.