Cesc Fabregas to be subject of City & United bidding war - how much?

A former Arsenal favourite could finally return to the Premier League, albeit at either Manchester City or Manchester United.

Elite-level playmaker Cesc Fabregas could be set to leave Camp Nou, pending Barcelona's summer transfer activity, writes Ben Jefferson in The Express.

Fabregas' future in Spain is ambiguous due to the regard he is held in by technical director Andoni Zubizaretta, his struggle to put a stamp on a full 90 minute first-team place under the stewardship of Gerardo Martino and the booing he has been subjected to by the home support at Barca.

Fabregas' form in La Liga, though, has been remarkable as he is responsible for either a goal (eight) or assist (19) once every 84 minutes he is on the field.

He has also created 52 goal-scoring opportunities, has a passing accuracy of 87%, attempts 61 passes per match on average while also helping his team defensively with 41 tackle attempts.

Perhaps part of the reason he has been included in the churn of the transfer rumour mill is because he has also been unable to replicate those statistics in the Champions League, a competition the club failed in this season.

Cesc is far less efficient in attack in Europe, scoring a goal (one) or assist (one) once every 278 minutes he is on the field.

He has also only created five goal-scoring opportunities and while he has a marginally higher passing accuracy (88%), he attempts fewer passes - 53 - per appearance.

Arsenal fans would no doubt salivate at the prospect of an attacking Gunners midfield that featured Fabregas, Mesut Ozil and Theo Walcott, with Aaron Ramsey in support from a box-to-box role, yet the Spaniard is linked with North-West rivals Manchester United and Manchester City.

Perhaps it is a cruel twist of footballing irony that the man who erstwhile United boss David Moyes' pursued last summer could end up Old Trafford in a couple of months, but City, of course, want to have a say in the 26-year-old's future.

If a bidding war were to ensue, just how pricey would Fabregas be? Transfermarkt.co.uk value the player at £44m and he likely won't be any cheaper than that as he still has two years remaining on his Camp Nou deal.

But, even if Arsenal were to miss out on his services to a fellow Premier League club, knowing the negotiating policy in N5, there will no doubt be a sell-on clause that benefits Arsene Wenger somehow.

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