Cesc Fabregas

It seems that Cesc Fabregas is living in one big transfer rumor since becoming a Barcelona player once again. This time, however, it might be more serious, with sources in Spain suggesting the club have told him is going to be sold so they can use the transfer money and sign Koke from Atletico Madrid.

It wasn’t a very good season for Fabregas, his third with Barcelona, despite numbers suggesting he was doing a good job as usual. He finished with an impressive 8 goals and 19 assists but in football, the eye test is what matters the most and too many times in big matches (Especially the big ones) Fabregas looked completely absent from the pitch, not giving Barcelona the offensive spark they needed or a tactical edge in the middle of the pitch.

For a player who was signed by Barcelona for €34 million in 2011 from Arsenal, destined to become the new great central midfielder for the club and take Xavi’s place one day, Fabregas might even be considered a disappointment. He has been part of Barcelona’s decline over the last three years as a European power, winning just one league title in three seasons, which hurts as well, although not having Real Madrid lifting the trophy was some sort of compensation.

Koke

Atletico Madrid are the champions, a team that knocked out Barcelona in the Champions League quarterfinals, and yet they don’t have buying power over Barcelona. The financial reality in Spanish and European football might force them to sell in order to upgrade their squad sufficiently. One of the key players in their title run which also brought them within a minute of winning the Champions League was Koke, the 22 year old Spanish international.

Barcelona are interested in Koke, who can play in a number of positions – attacking midfield, help out on the wings but has a strong sense of discipline and ability to defend. The crop coming up from Barcelona B and their current youth team isn’t ready to take over just yet, and Barcelona are never in a rush to make some of their youngsters immediate contributors. Thinks of how long it took Xavi to become what he is today, and Andres Iniesta as well wasn’t an overnight sensation.

And what about Fabregas? It seems that he is free to go, which means he can tell his agent to find himself a club that is willing to pay €35 million for him. The 27-year old Spanish international might be a bit expensive, but there are already more than one Premier League teams looking into the situation, including his former club Arsenal, but they aren’t the only London team trying to sign the player, who becomes a much more realistic target than he was last season when Manchester United were chasing him.

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