Real Madrid are lining up a move for Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas after Antonio Conte omitted the Spain International in Blues’ opening Premier League fixture against West Ham on Monday night.
Fabregas, who was left as an unused substitute for the entire match as Chelsea defeated their London-rivals by 2-1, is reportedly up for sale as Conte continues to rebuild the Blues’ squad.
And despite the Italian coach’s claim that he is happy with Fabregas’ ‘attitude and behavior’, the midfielder continues to be linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge this summer.
Following his first competitive game in charge of Chelsea, Conte said: “Cesc is Chelsea’s player, and I’m happy about him, with his attitude and behaviour.
“He must know from before that when we are a great team like Chelsea it can happen that I have to take a decision before the game to choose a starting XI.”
According to several sources, Fabregas has been offered to Juventus as a potential replacement for Paul Pogba, but Spanish outlet Marca claim that Real Madrid are keen to sign the 29-year-old to bolster Zidedine Zidane’s midfield options for their upcoming campaign.
The Spanish giants have been quite inactive in the current transfer market as they failed to sign Portuguese midfielder Andre Gomes earlier this summer, who instead opted to join Barcelona in a reported £45 million transfer deal.
And Real Madrid now continue their search to sign a midfielder and could be tempted by the availability of Fabregas, who joined Chelsea in 2014 for £30 million transfer fee after failing to make his mark at Barcelona.
Meanwhile, French midfielder N’Golo Kante made his first start for Chelsea since his summer move from Leicester City and is likely to secure the starting berth under Antonio Conte, meaning Fabregas could be told to play second fiddle to Kante and Nemanja Matic.
But should Fabregas’ move to Real Madrid materialize before 31 August, the Spain International will become only the 29th player to have played for both Real and Barcelona, joining the elite list including the likes of Michael Laudrup and Luis Enrique.