Josep Guardiola has said Barcelona are attempting to sign one more player. He didn’t say who. We all know who. Meanwhile Arsene Wenger is trying to plug the leaks in his ship, calling for commitment from Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri. But Nasri is a different story.
After signing Alexis Sanchez from Udinese, Barcelona aren’t exactly over flowing with an abundance of unused cash. They have something around €30 million, probably a bit less that that. The whole Cesc Fabregas saga has been going on for the last two summers. Will this final Barcelona bid, something around the €30 mil number, be the one to bring him over?
There’s no question about where Cesc wants to play. You don’t need to listen to Xavi’s constant warfare from the South of Europe to know Fabregas’ heart is drawing him back to Barca. Arsenal are willing sellers, for the right price. He is valued at €40 million, something Barcelona won’t be willing to spend.
But do you hold a player against his will? He’s not exactly bound by chains to Arsenal – he’s getting paid well enough, and I don’t think he’s suffering at Arsenal. Starting each season with the hope of winning a Premier League title and knowing you’re the best player on the team by miles isn’t a bad way to live. But I think Fabregas knows, like most Arsenal fans acknowledge, that the titles won’t be coming with Wenger still holding the reigns.
But it’s not just that. Fabregas’ ability and influence as captain has been questioned. A move to Barcelona will make it less stressful for him. Xavi, Messi, David Villa, Puyol, Iniesta – There are plenty of players to take the spotlight away from him. I’m not sure Barcelona even need him that badly. It seems more like a move to satisfy Fabregas, and probably Barcelona fans, always hungry for another superstarish local player.
If Arsenal would have been arming themselves with elite players, maybe Fabregas’ desire to stay in London would be greater. Gervinho, apparently, isn’t enough to quiet his hunger for titles. Arsenal have been chasing Mata from Valencia, but unsuccessfully so far. Maybe if Van Persie finally stays healthy for an entire season, Arsenal can hold on till the end of the race. There doesn’t seem to be any team significantly better than the rest. Unless Manchester City completely connect.
There are the fans, of course. The crowd was booing the team during the Emirates Cup 1-1 draw with the New York Red Bulls. No major signings plus selling Fabregas or even Samir Nasri might be too much for the patience of Gunner fans, waiting for a title since 2004. For Barcelona it’ll just be another shiny jewel in their battle for supremacy with Real Madrid, about to open for the one millionth time, with the second Guardiola vs Mourinho campaign and the third Ronaldo vs Messi.
It’ll be much better for Fabregas at Barcelona. For him personally. Is it the best thing for Arsenal and Barcelona? Probably not.