Yesterday, Cesc Fabregas broke his silence on the transfer rumours linking him with a move to Barcelona:
It’s not exactly HD surround-sound quality, so I’ll also provide you with a link to The Guardian’s transcript. However you choose to consume the news, the message is simple: his future lies in Arsenal’s hands.
Cesc makes reference to a very significant conversation with Arsene Wenger – one so significant that it can’t have been as simple as “I want to leave” – “Ok cool I’ll text you when it’s done”. My hunch is that Arsene said to Cesc: I’ve supported you your whole career, I’ve helped make you the player you are today – trust me to make the right decision for you and for Arsenal now.
The latest from John Cross in The Mirror suggests that after contacting Arsenal the Spanish champions have been firmly told where they can go. I don’t, however, see this is anything more than a tough opening stance in what will be a period of negotiation. That hypothesis stacks up with the latest comments from Barca president Juan Laporta, who has said:
“The signing of Cesc is something we want to do but it is very complicated. I have never said that we want to complete the signing before June 30. It will be delayed.
I do not intend to do anything that could prejudice the price of the operation so that he arrives during my mandate.”
Much as we will want to keep him, every player has his price. If Barca meet Cesc’s, he will go. If not, he will stay and be held to his contract. I just hope we get on and put a deadline on it one way or the other so we can conduct our other transfer business accordingly.
Cesc isn’t the only one with his eyes on a move to Spain, however. In a moment as hilarious as it is horrifying, Nicklas Bendtner yesterday revealed to the Danish press that his ultimate goal is a move to one of the top two Spanish clubs. Although he did well towards the back end of last season, you’d have to say he’s a long way from being a target for those guys.
One young striker who might be on the move this summer is Carlos Vela, saying of last season:
“It was difficult. I didn’t have many chances when I was fit. Having a good World Cup can open many doors. If not at Arsenal, we’ll see where.”
He’d undoubtedly a big talent, but one suspects the sunnier climes of Mediterranean Europe and regular first team football, both of which he’ll struggle to find in North London, might be the key to unlocking his potential.
Sol Campbell, meanwhile, is giving serious consideration to a move to Celtic. One can understand why – he’d doubtless be first-choice up there, and may get a two-year deal as opposed to the likely one on offer at Arsenal. I think it’s vital we keep him – if Fabregas goes, the experience and leadership of players like Campbell will be invaluable.
The man most likely to succeed Cesc as skipper if the Catalan captain departs, Robin van Persie, scored with two terrific finishes last night as Holland beat Mexico. You can see those goals here and here.
Finally, The Times have conducted a survey to establish the relative support of each Premier League manager at their own club. Arsene Wenger came in thirteenth, which for a manager who has achieved everything he has and who finished third this season, is very low. If Fabregas were to leave this summer, it’d be such a damning indictment of Arsene’s model that his 73% approval rating would drop yet further. A grim thought.