Barcelona's Cesc Fabregas has been one of the biggest names mentioned in transfer talk over the past several weeks, and while there is little doubt he could receive more playing time and be a bigger factor elsewhere, Barca shouldn't budge when it comes to their desire to keep him at the Camp Nou.
According to Mark Ogden of The Telegraph, Manchester United have had great interest in Fabregas recently, and although Barcelona have already turned down two previous offers, the Red Devils are prepared to raise their bid to £40 million.
That is obviously a monster offer, and Barcelona already has a great deal of depth, but they shouldn't let United's deep pockets influence them. Fabregas is still an important part of Blaugrana, and allowing him to leave could spell trouble for their La Liga chances.
Barca absolutely dominated league play last season as they finished 15 points ahead of Real Madrid. With Neymar now in the fold, that margin could conceivably get even wider. With that said, Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi is currently dealing with a thigh injury, and it could compromise him early in the season, according to Liviu Bird of Pro Soccer Talk.
While Barcelona figure to take things slowly and carefully when it comes to Messi, the fact remains an aggravation of the injury could cause him to miss some games. If that happens, Fabregas' role in Barcelona's attack would increase significantly as he could move into Messi's center-forward position if need be.
What should Barcelona do with Fabregas?
In fact, Fabregas is one of the most versatile players in the world as he can play essentially anywhere on the attack, from midfield to winger to striker. That means he can assume the roles of guys like Neymar, Andres Iniesta and several others if needed. Players are going to get banged up over the course of the season, so Fabregas is invaluable.
Fabregas would be a great addition to United's lineup as he could link up with the likes of Robin van Persie, Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez and Wayne Rooney, should the latter remain at Old Trafford. He would also be viewed as a clear first-teamer, whereas his role with Barcelona is constantly in question. That is a big reason why manager David Moyes and the Red Devils believe Fabregas might embrace a move, according to Ogden.
Even with his playing time being inconsistent over the past couple years with Barca, though, Fabregas has still been a highly productive player. In two seasons with Barcelona, Fabregas has 29 goals and 32 assists. Those numbers don't jump off the page like those of Messi as he is heavily relied upon to put the ball in the back of the net, but Fabregas has been a huge part of Messi's excellence.
At this point in the transfer window, there wouldn't be enough time for Barca to find a suitable replacement for a guy like Fabregas, so selling him now wouldn't be sensible. Of course, Barcelona have some other up-and-coming players who could potentially grow into Fabregas' current role, but their short-term goal is to win La Liga as well as the UEFA Champions League.
Fabregas may not have as obvious of an impact on accomplishing those goals as players like Messi and Iniesta do, but there is no denying the fact that he is a great fit at the Camp Nou. If Barca continues to waffle when it comes to his playing time, though, a transfer is likely to happen sooner rather than later.
As of right now, however, there would be no benefit to selling Fabregas to United, or any other team for that matter. Now that the season is underway, Barca's best bet is to keep Fabregas, and reap the benefits of his creative style of play.
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