The 22-year-old Spaniard signed for the Bundesliga champions 10 days ago on a four-year contract for a €25 million fee. Meanwhile, Barcelona are still insisting that Fabregas is not for sale.
Fabregas himself stated earlier on this summer that his preference was to remain at the Camp Nou, his boyhood club where he returned in 2011 after 8 years at Arsenal.
Arsenal fans are, naturally, hoping he returns to the Emirates and, most certainly, hoping he doesn’t sign for United but I wonder whether the player himself might have been hoping Bayern Munich would be more interested in him instead of his compatriot four years his junior.
The main reason I would imagine this to be a possibility is Bayern Munich’s new manager Pep Guardiola was Fabregas’ idol as a boy and a big reason he returned to Catalonia two years ago – he wanted to improve and develop under Guardiola’s mentorship and, for one season, he got his heart’s desire.
But Guardiola swiftly departed from the Camp Nou in 2012 just a matter of months after Fabregas had arrived. Guardiola had spent 11 years as a player and 5 years as a coach with Barcelona and took a sabbatical after announcing his resignation.
Now, Guardiola’s replacement Tito Vilanova has stepped down due to health concerns and Gerardo Martino has been announced as his replacement. Vilanova had been Guardiola’s assistant prior to his promotion as manager of the first team and had managed Barcelona B, for whom he also played for during his professional and youth career.
Martino does not fit this mould, however. The Argentine was a well-regarded midfielder in his day, most prominently for Newell’s Old Boys with whom he won three Primera Division titles and he has achieved some success with the club as manger winning the Primera Division this year, after four league titles in Paraguay before that.
Cesc Fabregas is a sentimental man by nature – that is evident in his loyalty to both Barcelona and Arsenal and his love for both clubs that nurtured him and the history is an important aspect of that.
Pep Guardiola was like his footballing father and, by that same rationale, Arsene Wenger his uncle perhaps, and I wonder if he feels a slight pang of longing to be reunited with his mentor at the European champions no less. I wonder if he wishes they had have picked him instead of Thiago.
image: © gowestphoto