Barcelona splashed out on David Villa already this summer, tempting the hotshot Spaniard into the Camp Nou for £34.2 million. However, new president Sandro Rosell hasn’t finished there and he now plans a raid on Arsenal’s captain Cesc Fabregas.
Fabregas was on the Barca books until the age of 16, when he left to join the Gunners. Barcelona now want him back and are very keen to recruit Cesc, despite having a £30 million bid turned down for the Arsenal man. Rosell will not be submitted to Arsenal demands and has said that even though “the whole world knows he wants to come”, he will not be held to a £50 million ransom.
Rosell is content to splash out between £35-40 million for Fabregas and believes that because of the heavy public glare these rumours have produced, the price tag is going to raise. The new Barca president said, “It’s a topic that has become so public and that’s the worst thing you can do… it makes the selling club raise the expectations and you end up paying over the odds”.
It has been reported that Barcelona chief Pep Guardiola recently took a trip to the Spain squad’s base in South Africa to see his Barcelona players and how they were shaping up. It seems very suspicious that a club manager would take a trip to an international base to check up on his players, especially in the era of e-mail and the mobile phone. There’s no doubt that if Guardiola did make the trip, talks between him and Fabregas would have definitely taken place.
The question is, where does Fabregas’ heart lie? Does he long to go back to Catalunya and play for his boyhood club, or does he want to stay in North London and spearhead Arsenal’s charge for a first league title since the 2003-04 team, which went through the entire campaign undefeated? If Fabregas went to Barcelona, he would not be in the starting line up. Fact. He doesn’t start for Spain behind a triple midfield contingent of Sergio Busquets, Xavi and Iniesta. Where do they all play? The Camp Nou. He won’t start and I don’t think Fabregas is the type of player, who is happy to come off the bench, pick up appearances to contribute towards a medal, yet not play a role in the season. That’s not who Fabregas is. If Barcelona can promise Fabregas a first team slot week in and week out, he’ll be on the plane quicker than Sandro Rosell can write out the cheque for his services.
Fabregas could stay at Arsenal, but it doesn’t look like they’re going to win anything until Arsene Wenger changes his transfer policy of holding out for the cheap bargains, the veterans and bringing, from the youth system, very young players and attempting to mould them into stars. You can see Fabregas is getting frustrated and that frustration might tip him to move back to Barca and challenge on a domestic and world front with relative ease. I think he’ll stay at Arsenal, but if he does, will his mind be right for them to rely on him? One thing’s for sure, I can’t wait to see the outcome.