Barcelona sold striker Bojan Krkic to Roma today in a complicated deal that could net the Spanish club €40m - or cost them €1m.
Barcelona said in a statement that the Serie A club agreed to the €12 million transfer, which includes an obligatory buyback clause at the end of the 2012-13 season when Krkic would cost the Spanish champion €13 million. But if Roma blocks the move, the value of the original transfer increases to €40 million.
The 20-year-old Krkic, an Under-21 Spain international, scored seven goals from 35 appearances last season, mostly coming off the substitutes' bench.
"There were definitely moments where I felt the club wasn't right with me," Krkic, with his voice breaking, said during today's news conference. "I didn't understand this season's decisions and that affected my confidence. I had a lot less minutes but in the end it's not about whether it's just or not, this is the situation now."
Krkic exploded into Barcelona's squad in 2007-08 when he scored 10 goals and set a record as Barcelona's youngest scorer in the league at 17. But he was mostly confined to the bench with coach Pep Guardiola's arrival the following season, and leaves for Italy with 43 goals from 157 appearances over four seasons.
Krkic said Guardiola didn't give him enough opportunities when the player was touted as a major talent after coming up through the club's youth ranks.
"Over the last few years the club didn't seem to have enough confidence in me," Krkic said as teammates Carles Puyol and Xavi Hernandez looked on. "And that hurt, of course. I still feel it was a privilege to be a part of this team the past years, that I helped make Barca the best team in the world. I still see my exit as positive."
Krkic, who helped Barcelona win nine trophies over the past three seasons, will join former Barcelona B coach and player Luis Enrique, who was recently hired by Roma.
"I hope my role is an important one at Roma," Krkic said. "Each team has its own interests at heart."
The deal could be seen as a quick money injection for Barcelona, who paid Udinese €26 million for Chile forward Alexis Sanchez on Thursday and are currently negotiating with Arsenal over the transfer of Cesc Fabregas.
The European champions went into the summer with a transfer budget of €45 million and have also spent €2 million Kiko Femenia. Krkic's move brings the balance to €29 million with Arsenal eyeing closer to €40 million for Fabregas.