Reports: Manchester United look to steal another Chelsea superstar in January
Can Manchester United lure a Chelsea superstar to help them dethrone the Premier League champions?
What's the story?
Manchester United look a different outfit this season - from the one that finished 6th in the Premier League in the last - and a large part of the credit for that goes to the introduction of Nemanja Matic at the base of the midfield. The Serbian was inexplicably let go by Chelsea this summer when United came a-calling and the Red Devils' fans have been celebrating this "steal" ever since.
United, though, are not done with the "stealing", it appears - not if the good folk over at the Times are to be believed. According to them, Jose Mourinho is drawing up plans to lure his former player - and someone with whom he shared a topsy-turvy relationship - Francesc 'Cesc' Fabregas to United as he looks to introduce some assist make-ability into a midfield that can look frighteningly turgid and dull at times when Paul Pogba isn't around to spark things to life
In case you didn't know
Fabregas, of course, holds a Premier League assist record for having assisted 10+ goals in six different Premier League seasons and has shown no signs of slowing down this season - he continues to provide the creative spark that any decent team require to make them title challengers, and working ever-harder to fit into Antonio Conte's system
The heart of the matter
With this in mind, Chelsea are willing to offer Fabregas a new contract - to ward off United - because with just 18 months left on his contract at Stamford Bridge, any new extension that Fabregas will get will only be for one year (they have a policy, just like Arsenal, of offering only one year extensions to players above 30) while the Spaniard is desperate to work for himself a two-year extension.
Here's where United step in - and with no such pesky one-year clause in their contract negotiations - they would be willing to assure Fabregas of high-level football for a longer time than his current club.
The magic o' Cesc...
....quite something, isn't it?
Considering that Gary Cahill signed a four-year deal just a few days shy of his 30th birthday, it appears that Chelsea's rules are open to bending... if the purpose suits the Blues. And Chelsea would be ill-advised to let the 'assist making machine' that is Fabregas follow Matic's path and walk right into the arms of a direct rival, and a man who would love nothing more than beating Chelsea with an ex-Chelsea player.