Arsenal rule out £30m Cesc Fabregas return - Will Spaniard now join United or Liverpool?

Cesc Fabregas Spain

Arsenal have ruled out a move for Cesc Fabregas, could Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea or Manchester City now sign the Barcelona star instead?

Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas is being tipped for a sensational Premier League return, but the signs are it will not be with former club Arsenal.

The Gunners reportedly have a buy-back clause for the Spaniard, but a report in The Telegraph claims Arsenal are deciding not to exercise it.

The report reads: "Arsenal have first option on the Spaniard, but have not responded to Barca’s tip off that Fabregas is available.

"Fabregas is understood to be disappointed that Arsenal have not shown a greater interest, but is still hoping to come back to England."

The reasoning stated in the report is that manager Arsene Wenger apparently does not believe Fabregas and Ozil are compatible in the same side.

So where could the World Cup bound star be heading? Here's a look through the reported options.

Manchester United

United were desperate to sign Fabregas last summer but their approaches were snubbed by Barcelona. New manager Louis Van Gaal has reportedly ruled out a bid for the midfielder, but Arsenal dropping their interest could yet change his mind, especially with the club proving unsuccessful so far elsewhere in the transfer market. David de Gea is said to be trying to talk the midfielder into a switch, while his friendship with Robin van Persie is already well known.

Manchester City

The same Telegraph report citing Arsenal dropping their interest lists Manchester City as being strongly interested, but say the club will only move if they land up selling Yaya Toure. Fabregas would join former Gunners Clichy, Nasri, and possibly Sagna at the club, while Patrick Vieira may even have a hand in attempting to persuade him. Fabregas appeals to City especially because he would count as a homegrown player.

Liverpool

Fresh reports in the Independent have listed Liverpool as surprise frontrunners for Fabregas, and will be buoyant after their second place Premier League finish. Signing Fabregas would be a major blow over old rivals Arsenal but even now it seems like an option from left-field.

Chelsea

Chelsea's interest in Fabregas, much like any other top player on the market, comes as no shock, but seeing him link up with old adversary Jose Mourinho certainly would be. Fabregas has history with Mourinho from his Arsenal and Barcelona days, and it's hard to see him returning to live in London and playing for a rival club to Arsene Wenger's men.

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