As far as transfer rumors go, this one’s a bit of a stretch. But as it’s no more of a pie in the sky than Arsenal’s title chances heading into next season, let’s give it some play, anyhow.
On Sunday the Daily Star revealed Cesc Fabregas was “out of favor” in Spain and that a move back to Arsenal wasn’t out of the question. El Mundo Deportivo and Marca each picked up on the story, giving it legs, and reports that the 25-year-old and his girlfriend, Daniella Semaan, were recently house-shopping in London sent the rumour mill spinning.
It’s important to mention Semaan at this point, because she’s an important part of the tale.
The 38-year-old is currently embroiled in a nasty legal fight with her ex-husband, who has taken the position that Fabregas—on more than £5 million per year with Barcelona—is more than capable of financially supporting his partner of 13 years. Fabregas and Semaan have a newborn daughter, and as Semaan does not get on with the other Barcelona players’ wives and girlfriends, it’s thought they’d prefer a move to London (h/t Daily Mirror).
Of course, there are football reasons as well.
Despite coming through the Barcelona youth ranks, Fabregas has yet to settle at Camp Nou since moving back to the Catalan capital in 2011. Successive managers have kept him on the outskirts of the first team, only bringing him in when one of Xavi, Andres Iniesta or Lionel Messi have been unavailable.
Then there is the situation at Arsenal, where manager Arsene Wenger has endured yet another campaign bereft of silverware at Emirates Stadium. Last summer the club sold Player of the Year Robin van Persie to Manchester United, where he won the title last Monday before returning to the Emirates and being given a begrudging guard of honour on Sunday afternoon.
Surely Wenger would like nothing more than to reacquire Fabregas—not only to make a splash in the transfer window but also to end the cycle of heartbreak that has been the theme at Arsenal the last few seasons.
Every summer, it seems, Wenger moves of one his better, higher-profile players out of the club, and with each exit Arsenal’s chances of ending a trophy drought, soon to enter its ninth year, become more obscure.
Fabregas’ return would be a much-needed reinvigoration. It would both mark Arsenal out as a serious contender for silverware next season and send a message to the its young players, notably Jack Wilshere, that the club is a place to both grow as a footballer and win trophies.
It would be the classic two-birds-with-one-stone scenario.