According to reports this week, Barcelona could let the Spain international leave the Camp Nou for a figure around £45million for the former Arsenal captain with the Gunners and Premier League rivals Manchester United known to be monitoring the Spaniard’s availability.
Now, amidst the speculation over his future, Cesc Fabregas appears to have been left out of the promotional campaign to launch the Catalans’ new kit for the coming season.
In the photo Barcelona stars Xavi, Gerard Pique, Andres Iniesta, Neymar, Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets all feature along with youngsters Sergi Samper, Edgar Ie, and Jean Marie Dongou but the 27-year-old star is nowhere to be seen.
His current contract runs until 2016 but that did not stop Manchester United pursuing him with interest last summer under the new leadership of David Moyes who, at the time, was unusually vocal about his admiration and pursuit of the former Arsenal captain.
Meanwhile the Gunners, with renewed optimism and belief following their FA Cup win last weekend, are understood to have a buy-back option built into their deal with Barcelona from his transfer from North London back in the summer of 2011 as the former skipper moved back to his boyhood club where he had trained as a youngster in the La Masia academy.
Could his omission from the team kit launch photo be read into further that there is a strong likelihood Fabregas will not be wearing the Barcelona kit next season? And if so, it looks increasingly likely that he may be wearing red instead. But, crucially, will that be the red of United or the red of his former home Arsenal where he remains a club legend and would likely be welcomed back with open arms.
If United, or anyone else for that matter, tabled a bid for him, Arsenal could likely exercise their right to bring him back to the Emirates, if they so desire. While should they decline to use their option, the Gunners would reportedly receive 50% of the fee from any deal Barcelona agree with another club. Overall, it looks as though the pendulum in this transfer market may well be swinging the Gunners’ way, as it is a win-win situation for them either way.