Arsenal has agreed terms with Barcelona for the transfer of midfielder Cesc Fabregas to the Spanish side, the club announced Sunday. The deal is set to be finalized by Barcelona on Monday.
The deal has Barcelona paying £35 million for the midfielder, while Fabregas will also have to pony up an extra £4.5 million of his own money spread out over four years to seal the deal. The 24 year old midfielder was a former team captain and has made various overtures to join the Spanish club over the years, a sentiment that was echoed by Barcelona players as well.
The saga of Fabregas/Barcelona has been going on for months now, with Arsenal setting a £45m price tag on the player and club skipper Arsene Wenger vowing that Fabregas wouldn’t move at various points. Wenger has now sealed the deal by saying, “We have been clear that we didn’t want Cesc to leave and that remains the case. However, we understand Cesc’s desire to move to his hometown club and have now accepted an offer from Barcelona. We thank Cesc for his contribution at Arsenal and wish him future success.”
The kicker here is that Arsenal midfielder Samir Nasri, in his final year of contract has also hinted at leaving, with Manchester City offering £25m and £180,000 a week in salary. Arsenal is rumored to have offered up Nasri for unhappy City striker Carlos Tevez. Nasri could have made it a lot easier for Arsenal by filling in the midfielder role that Fabregas has departed, but now the club looks to lose two key players.
Arsenal have brought themselves into a real difficult situation over the last few months if Nasri follows Fabregas out of Arsenal. By hemming and hawing with Fabregas, they’ve allowed focus to be taken off Nasri and what could have been a suitable replacement for the Spanish midfielder if they signed Nasri and sold Cesc earlier. Now though, if the rumored Nasri deal goes through the club will have a major hole in the midfield which will be very difficult to fill between now and the close of the transfer window in two weeks.
What’s your opinion regarding Cesc Fabregas leaving Arsenal? Are you glad it’s finally over? And who do you think Arsenal should try to sign to replace Fabregas (and possibly Nasri)?