The Daily Star says the Spanish champions are hard-up for cash and had to borrow £125m at the end of last season to pay their players' wages.
They are allowed massive overdrafts from Spanish banks and are adamant they will still land the Arsenal skipper.
Roberto Mancini's side have been keen to sign Ibrahimovic all summer because the Italian boss worked with him at the San Siro.
But they would prefer to offer up Brazilian misfit Robinho in part exchange, while Barca want cash.
Rosell and City chief executive Garry Cook have known each other for more than a decade since they met working at Nike and are trying to complete a deal.
A Barca source said last night: "The president has decided to sort this deal out himself personally.
"He wants to talk to the agent next week and will talk to Cook at Manchester City. It would be better for everybody if they could sell Zlatan because he is not part of Pep Guardiola's plans for next season.
"Fabregas remains the major priority for the club and they want to raise some cash to get him instead of having to go to bankers."