Will Cesc Fàbregas join Manchester United?
They say loyalty exists no more in football. The prevailing belief is that modern footballers will go to all lengths to fabricate a career full of trophies and if it requires stabbing the ones who stood by them in the back, so be it.
A player will kiss the badge and pledge long-term allegiance to one club but will soon be seen biding adieu to his team-mates and donning a rival’s jersey. And all of this will take less than 12 months. Sometimes, even six.
So, if ‘they’ are to be believed, Cesc Fàbregas’ statement saying he would never play for a club other than Arsenal and Barcelona is very much redundant and should be forgotten by the Gooners. And it would not be the first case of disloyalty they would have had witnessed in recent time.
Or, we could choose to believe otherwise and think he’ll either stay at Barcelona or book a ticket back to North London. Whichever the case may be, there is enough substance in both arguments to spark a debate.
Despite Barcelona vice president Josep Maria Bartome saying Cesc is not for sale, United have apparently submitted a second bid in the region of £30 million.
The newly appointed David Moyes knows his team needs a midfielder who can dictate the pace of the game and has the vision to pick a pass like the good old Scholesy. Someone to stamp his authority in the middle of the park. So it’s no surprise they want the Spanish international, who ticks all these boxes, to fill Paul’s shoes in the center of their midfield, something which required Scholes himself coming of out of retirement two seasons back.
But there are stumbling blocks to this move. Will Barcelona sanction a move for a player for whose signature they worked ever-so-hard just two seasons ago? Will Cesc be willing to join a direct rival of Arsenal’s? And perhaps most importantly, will Arsenal, who have the Right of First Refusal( for a reported £36m), reject him if and when the opportunity arrives?
All of this means Moyes will have to pull off something quite extraordinary, and at the same time hope Arsène rejects him, to ensure Fàbregas starts in a Man United jersey come the 15th of August.
The only scenario where he’ll join the Red Devils is where Arsène doesn’t want to impede the development of the existing crop of young midfielders he has, for one of Ramsey or Wilshere will have to make way for him in the starting XI if Cesc is signed.
Both these players have an extremely bright future ahead of them, and Fàbregas’ return could provide unnecessary competition to them . Plus, there are other areas which need to be strengthened to complete the Arsenal jigsaw.
So even if Fàbregas wishes to betray the person whom he referred to as his second father, proving the absolute nonexistence of loyalty in the modern game at the same time, he’ll still have to wait for Arsène’s refusal. Any half-decent football fan would have a hard time picturing a situation where both these things happen simultaneously.
A much simpler situation would be where he wishes for a move back to Arsenal, rekindling the fire of loyalty in football alive, albeit strugglingly.
To cut long story short, Fàbregas is more likely to join Arsenal than United, if at all he wants to leave his boyhood club. And as long as Arsène is willing to pay a similar amount to the one he got from the Catalunians two years back. Something which the Arsenal faithful have been longing for ever since he left. Unlike Robin van Persie.