Ronaldinho Gaucho: a possible turn of events?

As a rule, this blog avoids speculating about the transfer market. However, as we speak, thing have taken quite a turn in the telenovela that Ronaldinho Gaucho’s picking of his future club has turned into.

A quick recap: Ronaldinho has de facto left Milan and returned to Brazil. Three clubs have launched interesting proposals: Grêmio (Porto Alegre), Flamengo (Rio de Janeiro) and Palmeiras (São Paulo). Of the three proposals, Flamengo’s and Palmeiras’ are the most financially advantageous, while Grêmio could count on Ronaldinho’s sympathy for being the club that launched his career. Most journalist have been placing their chips on Flamengo with Palmeiras as the runner up, but it’s been nothing but speculations as Ronaldinho’s brother and agent Assis has been talking repeatedly to representatives from the three clubs during the last week. Ronaldinho (and Milan) is expected to make a decision in the coming few days.

So, where’s the news value, the turn of events? Well, suddenly, things might be looking a lot brighter for Palmeiras. Flamengo’s offer was made with the sports investment company Traffic as a major partner. Traffic, which also (at least for now) is in partnership with Palmeiras regarding key aspects of the new Arena; most importantly the selling of naming rights, drinks and foods, shows… A deal worth approximately 120 million USD over ten years. Information brought by the journalist Alex Muller and confirmed by other sources state that Palmeiras’ president Belluzzo has taken a firm stand: if Traffic’s partnership with Flamengo results in Ronaldinho choosing the former over Palmeiras, Traffic can kiss the 120 million USD partnership with Palmeiras goodbye.  With the Ronaldinho deal worth a estimated 30 million USD over three years, Traffic seems to be getting cold feet and fast…

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