Yes, it’s true. Despite all the hype Cesc Fabregas has still not completed his dream of signing for Barça. I know the press need to sell papers but last week’s headlines about the imminent signing of Fabregas were totally unfounded as were their claims that Cesc would not return to London for training. Well, guess what? Arsenal started training today and Cesc was there! However, the papers in Spain are emphasaing that Cesc trained apart from his Arsenal teammates, in the gymnasium. There are suggestions that he may not go on tour to Asia with Arsenal on Sunday. Sport claim that Arsenal want €40 million while Barça are try to get the player for €35 million.
Now, I’m sure there are some negotiations going on and it might well be best for everyone if an agreement could be reached before Sunday. However, as I have already said on this blog, the only way that Cesc will sign for Barça is if the clubs can reach an agreement, and that is looking increasingly difficult. It is interesting to note from comments on this blog and on other forums that the fans do not seem all that keen on the Fabregas signing. And this is a sign that he is not a priority for us. There are plenty of reasons for being against the signing mainly due to the fact that he left us as a 16-year-old of his own free will, so why should we now pay a lot of money for him while blocking the path of other promising youngsters such as Thiago or Sergi Roberto.
That said, Fabregas would definitely be a useful addition to the squad. Every season Pep Guardiola and Tito Vilanova try to come up with some new attacking options and it could well be that Cesc is used in a role behind a two-pronged attack of Messi and either Pedro or Villa which would still leave room for Busquets-Xavi-Iniesta in midfield. This would give an option when either Pedro or Villa is injured or in need of a rest. As things stand we only have the back up of Afellay and Jeffren, as Bojan looks to be on his way to Roma.
I don’t think we will sign both Cesc and Alexis, but the addition of one of the two would be useful. I am glad to see that it seems we are not going to pay over the odds for anybody. Just imagine if we still had Gaspart as President, we would have signed Fabregas for €55 million, Alexis for €45 million, and we would have probably paid more than Chelsea did for the over-rated Fernando Torres. As things stand I still can’t see us wanting to go over €40 million for Cesc and I don’t think Arsenal will want to sell for less than €45 million.
Arsenal are not in the best of positions here. They have just sold Gael Clichy to Manchester City while players like Nasri and Arshavin are rumoured to be looking for moves. Arsene Wenger always tries to convince his players of the club’s ambition and if they lose Nasri, they will not want to lose their captain for a knockdown fee. A lot of speculation has been made about what Wenger promised Cesc last summer. Wenger may well have said he would allow Cesc to leave but I’m sure he did not say “at any price”. It will be interesting to see how things develop, and I wonder whether or not Cesc feels betrayed in any way by Wenger, or who knows, he may feel misled by Barça for not putting in a higher bid. I would find it very sad if Barça were in any way asking Cesc to rebel and not train or play for Arsenal as a means of bringing down the price. But it seems the club does not need to do this as it has the press to do this sort of destabilising.
The other main news from the last few days is that Andreu Fontás has been rewarded for his progress with a first team contract. Jeffren is staying for another year while Bojan is still looking at a possible move to Roma. Johnathan Dos Santos has made a public apology for his part in the Prostitutes-in-the-hotel-with-Mexican-team-players scandal though he made no mention of the young ladies in question during his apology, regretting only his indisciplined behaviour. I’ve always had my doubts about Johnathan and this episode will not help his future unless he decides to learn from it. Does anybody think Tottenham will but another Dos Santos from us?
Excellent news just in: Pedro signs new contract until 2016. His buy-out clause has increased from €90 million to €150 million – Link