This time it maybe for real
Its mind numbing to think that Arsenal’s next season may not have its talisman. Previous articles of mine have reflected a strong state of denial. Unfortunately this time around there is a kernel of truth to all these Cesc will leave for Barca rumours.
After seven years, a stripling of a lad from La Masia who grew before our eyes to achieve the status of one of the most sought after talents in Arsenal’s history will return to his roots.
There will be no bad feeling as Cesc Fabregas gave his all for the club.
Fabregas is supposed to have met with Wenger and conveyed his decision to leave for Barcelona. The manager is supposed to meet with him again this week to try and persuade him to stay on but to all purposes Fabregas mind is made up. This comes on the heels of his AS interview in Spain where he first publicly declared his intention. Rafael Yuste, Barca’s vice president made it clear that the signing of Fabregas was made easier by his desire to return:
“The situation with Cesc is different because even if you have the will of the player it is very important to talk to his club and, if you can, find an agreement. But what makes it easier is that both players want to come to Barça.”
The sticking point will be the price. It is reported that the Catalans will submit a bid for 35 million euros whereas Arsenal is asking in the region of 50 million. Fabregas is understood to have made it clear that he would like this settled before the World Cup begins.
The Catalans are of the feeling that Arsenal should not be too stuck on the price because in politically incorrect parlance Fabregas was poached for a pittance. They were furious about it when it happened but over the years, his development has been of the magnitude that they could have done little better. It represents an even more phenomenal ROI than Nicholas Anelka.
Wenger has indicated in the past that he is in no hurry to sell any player but a good price and some other sweeteners could be hard to pass up.
Barca could offer Zlatan Ibrahimovic or Yaya Toure, both players who have fallen down the order. In the Swede’s case the impending arrival of David Villa will make his task for starting minutes even harder. Toure has been sidelined by Sergio Busquets, now Pep Guadiola’s first choice as holding midfielder. Personally, Ibrahimovic would be a bad move – the Swede has shown some very Bendtner like goalscoring proclivities, an indifferent work ethic, and a petulant attitude.
The first priority would be to find someone to fill the creative lacuna left by Fabregas. Everton’s Mikel Arteta is probably the best choice but others who Arsenal could consider are Wolfsburg’s Zvjezdan Misimović, Benfica’s Pablo Aimar, Bordeaux’s Yoann Gourcuff, and Roma’s Daniele De Rossi. It should not be another one of Wenger’s creative projects – we are looking at a finished product, a creative playmaker with credentials.