No-one wants to see their prodigal son rock up at a rival club. And that can only be worse when the player actually chooses your rival ahead of you, so if Cesc Fabregas goes to Manchester United, it will be a gloomy day in the Gooner section of north London. The pain of unrequited love and loss of pride will be tangible. In this summer, when Arsenal have talked a lot of big money transfers, with all of them to date coming to nought, this will be the unkindest cut of all.
The possibility of a Fabregas return to the Premier League was mooted a few weeks ago, with both Arsenal and United keen to recruit the Catalan back to English football. At that stage it was asserted that the possibility of the player leaving Barca was remote in the extreme. With Xavi now 33, and Iniesta nearing 30, it was thought that the La Masia graduate, hewed from the Catalan cantara was the natural heir to one of the roles in midfield. Although I’ve seen his Barcelona career described as being that of ‘a bit part player,’ it’s significant to note that in two years he has made 96 appearances for the first team, including 60 in La Liga games. He’s also the last Spanish player to score a hat trick for Bara – a useful bit of trivia! All that said, it seems that someone, somewhere has now launched a whisper that perhaps Barca may be prepared to listen to offers for the player. It seems strange that in the same week that Thiago Alantara decamped to Bayern Munich to one again link up with Guardiola, the club are prepared to consider the release of another member of the midfield, but it the rumour is that this may indeed be the case.
Apparently, part of the deal that took Fabregas to Barcelona was that should the club ever be looking to sell him, then Arsenal ‘would have first refusal,’ although I have to say that I don’t really know what that means. Does it have any real purpose? Surely, if there’s two offers for the player, and Barca want to take the higher one, then they will. And if there’s two acceptable bids, and the player chooses the other club, then that’s the way it is. And there I think, lies the root of the problem. Whilst back at The Emirates, Arsenal have seen bids for Rooney, Suarez and Higuain apparently come to nothing, there’s a fairly knowing acceptance that this was always going to be the likely outcome. If Fabregas, becomes available however, and then with a choice before him, selects Manchester United over a return to Arsenal, there are very few Arsenal fans that won’t feel that there’s something wrong, and the pressure of Arsene Wenger will ratchet up again.