Last summer, Manchester United were linked with an audacious and – many felt – impossible move for Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas.
So it proved, when the former Arsenal man remained exactly where he was, despite copious headlines suggesting otherwise, with United made to look somewhat foolish for pursuing a player it seemed they had no chance of getting.
Fabregas would later say he was flattered by the interest. But he did so while enjoying some sparkling form for the reigning Spanish champions.
That form has tailed off just as Barca have fallen away in the title race and slipped out of Europe to the season’s surprise package Atletico Madrid. But it also appears to have prompted some new headlines linking United with another move for the Spaniard.
But fans of the outgoing champions should not get too excited. In fact they should forget about the fresh Fabregas rumours all together.
The stories stem from Mundo Deportivo’s claim that Barcelona are prepared to listen to (big) offers for Fabregas this summer.
From there, United found their name thrown back into the hypothetical ring. But as much as the 26-year-old would no doubt improve David Moyes’ side, they have moved on now.
Whether or not Toni Kroos arrives this summer, next summer or never, Fabregas is a ship that has well and truly sailed. Should the former Gunner return to England, it would surely only be back to North London.
While the fact that he has suffered a dip in form is not reason in itself to sell him – even for a considerable sum – given that he has 13 goals and 21 assists this campaign to date.
Would Barca really part with a man who can provided them with such creativity, especially with Xavi now approaching 35?
No, United fans would be wise to ignore the latest rumours, and focus on more realistic transfer targets. After all, the rumour mill has a habit of sending us all into a frenzy that concludes too often with disappointment. And that would almost certainly be the case if the Fabregas rumours begin all over again.