Manchester United's new manager David Moyes is still eagerly searching for his first big signing as boss of the Red Devils, and he's been at pains to acknowledge that the chase for Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas is still on.
BBC Sport report that Moyes confirmed a second bid was made to Barcelona on Monday, with the new offer estimated to be at around the £30 million mark, plus add-ons:
As I understand it, Ed had a response [to the first bid]. We have made a second offer, but Ed is dealing with it rather than me. When you're interested in good players, you want to give it every opportunity to materialise - and I'll do that. I hope things can continue and move forward. At this moment in time, I can only tell you that Ed is working hard trying to make the deals happen. We can only hope that some of them fall into place shortly.
While the deal still appears to be some distance from completion, there can be little doubt that Fabregas would be a very much ideal signing for Manchester United and for Moyes.
Moyes often operated with a 4-4-1-1 system at Everton, and it's more than possible he could apply a similar system at Manchester United.
As an attack-minded midfielder, Fabregas could of course slot straight into the system as the advanced player behind the centre forward, where he would link up once more with former Arsenal teammate Robin van Persie. The attraction for Moyes in this instance is obvious: He would be almost guaranteed an immediate return and have the ability to integrate the player into the starting XI with great effect.
Fabregas would also be able to play as a more orthodox central midfielder in a two-man system when required, allowing perhaps the likes of Shinji Kagawa to play in the No. 10 role or else for the manager to put two centre-forwards into the team.
A great link-up player, Fabregas can aid in transitions between turnover and attack phases and move forward quickly to be the farthest player forward when needed. He would certainly fit into United's direct style of attacking.
While Everton ended up as a different animal to the "hard-working, long-ball" side that Moyes initially made them out to be, they won't be challenging Barcelona or Ajax any time soon for ball retention and patient build-up play.
Pleasing to watch at their best, Everton shifted the ball forward quickly and directly to make use of the spaces and the attributes that their attacking players possessed, not entirely unlike United themselves.
On the other hand, the longer, diagonal ball was absolutely still a big feature of their play, often aimed toward the burly, hairy figure of Marouane Fellaini to chest down or win a free-kick from.
Such a direct and, at times, uncouth method of playing can be effective, but it's not what United fans have come to expect from their team, and they will now expect Moyes to be able to provide a better product on the pitch with more quality available to work with.
Fabregas being in the team will naturally encourage more football to be played, for quicker passing and movement to be looked for in the middle and final thirds and for better off-the-ball running to provide passing options for the playmaker.
The Moyes Attraction
Should Moyes be trying to sign Cesc Fabregas?
Regardless of the player name, it could be argued that a big £30 million signing—or a record transfer signing—would be "ideal" for Moyes, as it puts his name on the Manchester United manager's office door in a more tangible way for fans.
Fabregas would be the first name on the team sheet that wasn't an Alex Ferguson buy, who was signed specifically with Moyes' tactics and style in mind. It would then be down to the new boss to get the best out of him—and in turn, for the player to help get the best out of the team.
One huge signing would make more of an impact on fans' and other viewers' senses than four or five at around the £8-12 million mark, as far as the new boss is concerned.
The question remaining now is whether or not United, and Moyes, can actually go on and convince the player he should move to Old Trafford.