Barcelona could be about to spark a major transfer scramble by making Cesc Fabregas available, as new manager Luis Enrique begins to consider his options to reshape the squad he inherited.
Fabregas moved to the Camp Nou some three years ago, and last year saw the Catalan club bat away a move from Manchester United to take the player back to the Premier League and Old Trafford. Things move on however, and after a season where he has been the butt of criticism in the Spanish press, it’s understood that Enrique considers Fabregas not only one of his saleable assets, but also an expendable one as well.
It’s understood that part of the deal that took Fabregas to Catalunya allowed Arsenal to have a ‘buy back’ clause inserted. It’s thought to mean that should the club wish to sell the player, and Fabregas declares that he would like to return to the Emirates, then a prescribed fee of some £25million is pre-agreed.
Fabregas is thought to be earning in the order of £100,000 per week in Spain, but matching that should not be too much of a problem for the Gunners with Arsene Wenger now accepting the financial realities of the modern game. Before Gunners’ fans get too excited at the prospect of welcoming back their former skipper and hero however, there is a complication. With a midfield that already contains record-signing Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla – with new contract tucked into his back pocket, star player of the season Aaron Ramsey, plus Jack Wilshire, you have to question whether there’s room for a returning Fabregas, or whether even the newly relatively free-spending Wenger would see value in the move.
There are of course other options. Louis van Gaal’s opinion of the player is not widely known at this stage, but Manchester United’s decision to pull out of the pursuit for Bayern Munich’s Toni Kroos – supposedly at the behest of van Gaal – may not merely be a coincidence of timing.
Chelsea would also have an interest. The club appear willing to unload long-time Barca target David Luiz, and a swop deal may suit both parties. Chelsea boss, Jose Mourinho, had been favouring the young Brazilian Oscar in the ‘number ten’ role, but his form as dipped of late, and with rumours of a big money bid for the diminutive playmaker from French champions PSG widely touted, the Portuguese may like the look of a Premier League case-hardened Fabregas in his squad and a few squillion euros in the bank to both ward off any FFP problems, and finance other acquisitions.
Whilst Barca seem unlikely to be interested in looking at a return for recalcitrant ‘birthday boy’ Yaya Toure, they would be keen on linking Sergio Aguero with compatriot Lionel Messi in a Blaugrana forward line that would look chock full of goals. It’s unlikely that City would want to let the Argentine hitman leave however, and if they can smooth Toure’s ruffled feathers, any dissent from that quarter may disappear rather quickly, leaving no gap in their squad for a returning Fabregas.
When the transfer window opens, it will become clear quite quickly as to where – if anywhere – Fabregas would be likely to move to. One thing is for sure however, if Barcelona do make him available, a return to the Premier League could very much be on the cards.
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