The Daily Mirror has reported that Barcelona will target Manchester City star David Silva as a replacement for club icon Xavi.
If the report is based on any element of truth, one current Barca star who won’t be at all pleased is former Gunner Cesc Fabregas.
Fabregas has been biding his time and waiting for a more regular chance to control the midfield of the Spanish champions as he looks to follow in Xavi’s footsteps over the next few years.
Silva’s arrival could push the Spaniard further down the pecking order and that could work perfectly in the favour of Arsenal, who have first option on re-signing their former player.
Fabregas said last month that he’s happy at Barcelona under Martino, featuring prominently with seven goals and 15 assists from 19 starts and two sub appearances in La Liga.
However, that could all change if Barcelona have an unsuccessful season and don’t win any silverware, unthinkable by their usual standards, which prompts the club to show Martino the exit door, ushering in a new era.
A new boss may not see Fabregas’ role in the team in the same light, preferring another option (Silva) to the 26-year-old which threatens to alienate him in several ways.
The obvious argument against an Arsenal return is that the Gunners already have Mesut Ozil and Santi Cazorla who can play similar types of roles, so what would be the point in bringing Fabregas back?
The logic would be the same used when Arsenal were first offered the chance to sign Ozil; you don’t pass up the chance to get players of a certain standard and level.
Fabregas may not play in a more advanced role than Ozil in the current Arsenal side but he’s certainly good enough to sit in the heart of that team, linking defensive and attacking midfield while controlling the tempo of the side’s play.
It’s a long shot but if Martino or his possible replacement bring in another playmaker at Barca, it could be the final straw for a so far very patient Fabregas.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald