It’s taken Manchester United quite a while to be completely fixed on a central midfielder this summer, but it seems like Cesc Fabregas is the player for them, making an official offer to Barcelona.
According to Guillem Balague, United offered €30 million to Barcelona for the Spanish international, who returned to his boyhood club for more in 2011, hoping that the uncertainty regarding his status with the club due to being behind Andres Iniesta and Xavi on the hierarchy will be enough to help him try and make a push out of there.
However, after Barcelona seems to be losing Thiago Alcantara to Bayern Munich in any case (initially thought to be United), it’s not likely they’ll be giving up on another central midfielder, even though it does bring a substantial financial boost.
Another interesting twist to this story is Fabregas and the Arsenal connection. There’s a clause in the deal between Barcelona and Arsenal that gives Arsenal a first option worth €29 million in case Barcelona are approached by any club to sign the player. Whether or not Fabregas wants to make a return to North London is a different question – leaving the Emirates had to do with him wanting to go back to Barcelona, but also with Arsenal falling behind the Manchester United and Chelsea in terms of success, spending and ambition.
With Thiago probably going to Bayern Munich and another midfielder that initially looked United bound, Kevin Strootman, probably heading somewhere else (AS Roma), it’s not a surprise United are getting a bit more serious about adding someone to their inferior (compared to plenty of clubs in the Champions League) central midfield unit.
The question if Fabregas himself – how much does he want to keep on fighting for a place in the Barcelona lineup, as his ability last season zig zagged between big matches (disappointing) to the smaller ones (usually very efficient), and his belief in himself that he can find himself in a more important role than he has played for the club over the last couple of seasons.