Pep Guardiola’s words have to be carefully parsed for how much they do not want Cesc Fabregas.
” We will fight to the end to try to get Cesc because we believe he will improve the team and the squad.”
Nowhere in that sentence are the words “needed”, “important”, “future”, “1000 year reign”, “homecoming”, or “enough already”.
The longest running transfer saga in the football world boils down to a milquetoast hunch.
In that same statement Guardiola says, ” There is a sum of money in the strong box set aside for this signing but if it doesn’t work out it will be kept in the box for something else.”
We’ve already seen that strong box as Barca forked out fistfuls of cash for Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Dmytro Chygrynskiy leaving everyone fearing for their sanity. Now, the focus is on Alexis Sanchez because Bojan Krkic is leaving and Jeffren might follow suit which will leave them short handed on attack. Guardiola acknowledges as much saying his focus is not on the midfield.
“The priority is an attacker. We have more players in midfield than in attack. Jeffrén [Suárez] also wants to leave, so the attack is more important.”
Meanwhile it has been days since the last solid offer for £26m was tabled. Arsenal made it clear they are looking at £40m. Since then it has been an endless parade of ciphers from Xavi, Pique, to the Catalan mayor speaking for Fabregas. They all seem to know his mental state and his vital signs better than the man himself.
Wenger has done the right thing. He’s given them a deadline of 10 days to come up with their best offer and if it does not resonate with him then Fabregas is staying. If they meet the fee then he gets a month to find a suitable replacement.