According to Barcelona, Cesc Fabregas isn’t for sale, and the whole chase by Manchester United should be dropped. But the Premier League champions see things a little bit differently, and are prepared to up the ante and send in an improved offer, hopefully putting enough pressure on the player to change his, and his club’s mind.
Barca want Fabregas to declare publicly that he doesn’t want to leave – not to United, not to anyone else. But we haven’t heard anything of the sorts from Fabregas, who might be happy with life in Barcelona and being a part of the team, but there’s a good chance that he’s enjoying all this attention he’s getting from the league he has played in for most of his career.
United don’t really have a choice but to make one offer after the other. It’s not the ‘no’ that’s going to stop them, but at some point they’ll run out of prices they can offer. United aren’t a cheap team in terms of showing off their spending power, but there’s a reason they almost always lose out in bidding for stars that their appeal goes beyond the borders of the Premier League.
Losing Fabregas would be a big hit for Barcelona. Not just an ego and publicity downgrade after working so hard to bring him back two years ago and suddenly looking like a team that can’t hold on to one of its biggest players, but for the future. The Iniesta-Xavi tandem isn’t going to last forever, and Xavi, at some point, is going to show a very significant decline. For now it’s been a more gradual one.
After selling Thiago, Fabregas becomes the number one player in line to be the heir of Xavi in the middle of the pitch. Up until now he has played in different positions, but at some point, Xavi won’t be a first team player anymore, and Fabregas will fill in for either him, or Iniesta, who himself might actually be the one to move backwards slightly and fill Xavi’s distributor role.
There are more important players than Fabreges on the Barcelona squad, and certainly some who get better treatment and more recognition than he does, but he’s someone that at the moment they can’t afford to lose.