Cesc Fabregas’ future should be sorted out by the end of the week as he’s due to meet with Barcelona boss Tito Vilanova.
Fabregas has not been able to engineer himself into the position as a first choice central midfielder at Barcelona with the likes of Xavi and Andres Iniesta still considered to be ahead of him in the pecking order.
If the meeting doesn’t go well, then Arsenal will have first refusal on the deal and the chance to sign him back for a fee in the region of £25 million.
It was a clever stipulation inserted in the original deal designed to benefit the Gunners if this issue ever came up.
Manchester United’s chances of getting him seem to rest on the chance that Arsenal may not be able to afford him, may not want to pay the fee or the possibility that Arsene Wenger feels as though he doesn’t need him in the side.
Arsenal already have a superb core of central midfielders available; Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla and Mikel Arteta.
Arsene Wenger does not sign players, regardless of stature and profile, if he doesn’t feel as though there is a complete need for that player in his current side.
It would also be surprising because throughout the time he’s been at the club, he’s not shown a passion to re-sign former players.
That leaves United in the driving seat, but the doubt with an Old Trafford move is Fabregas’ history and the fact he may not want to go and join a club that he sees could hurt Arsenal in a big way.
However, his profile and place in the current Manchester United team would be undoubted and David Moyes may enjoy having the opportunity to buy such a player after struggling on relatively little cash at Everton.
Arsenal are also being heavily linked today with a £15 million move to sign Lars Bender from Bayer Leverkusen, which would make any subsequent pursuit of Fabregas pointless.
If the meeting goes well this week then both Arsenal and United will miss the chance to sign him, but if it doesn’t go well then it could be United who are slight favourites to get him despite Arsenal having first option.
If he comes back to England, where do you think he’ll go?
image: © ins11thiago