After a cavalcade of circumstantial evidence pointed to Cesc Fabregas's final season at Arsenal there are now increasing doubts whether he will finally leave for Barca, his boyhood club.
Simply put the financial figures for Barca are not very flattering. The club has the highest wage bill in the world, a stupendous €234.8m (£205.3m) which push up operating costs to €380.1m (£333.75m) per year. The arrival of Alexis Sanchez will add to this amount in no small way. The club is technically in bankruptcy.
Sanchez's arrival should be put in its proper perspective. Barca is paying Udinese £40m (£27m + variables) for augmenting their attack even as the above figures show they are stretching their means to the limit. Fabregas's arrival will cost them £40m in transfer fees and add substantially to that wage bill. Meanwhile there is increasing talk of Thiago Alcantara, like Cesc, a La Masia product providing cheaper midfield cover. In three years he will be primed to take over Xavi. Sandro Rosell's foot dragging over Fabregas is indicative that there is a rethink going on.
The longer this goes on the more the media/blogs will swing to the viewpoint of Fabregas staying put. However, as Arseblog points out there are equally big priorities. All those Gary Cahill, Christopher Samba, and Phil Jagielka rumours have turned cold. The reason is Wenger ostrich like believes that Arsenal have very few defensive problems. Some mumbling about set pieces but really, actually, unbelievably they are good at the back. One should have suspected all this when he welcomed Pat Rice's extension.