Cesc Fabregas will be announced as a Chelsea player as soon as Ivan Rakitic’s move to Barcelona is confirmed, according to reports in Spain.
According to R. Guevara and S. Font in Marca, the Catalans have agreed a €33 million fee with the Stamford Bridge club for Fabregas, but are waiting for Rakitic to sign up before they allow the Spaniard to leave.
The report suggests that Barcelona and Rakitic are keen to get the deal done prior to the start of the World Cup on Thursday, a game in which Rakitic’s Croatia will take on host nation Brazil. According to Charlie Scott of the Mail Online, Jose Mourinho is keen to get Fabregas confirmed as a Chelsea player before Spain kick off the defence of their title on Friday.
The deal will see the former Arsenal captain move to Stamford Bridge after the Gunners reportedly failed to exercise a first-option clause that was inserted into the player’s contract upon selling him to the Catalans, per BBC Sport.
Football writer samuelJayC finds it peculiar that Arsenal would insist on inserting this kind of clause into Fabregas' Barcelona contract, only to choose to not use it:
Naturally, the move for Fabregas is the talk of London, and it has stirred mixed reactions among the Emirates faithful. But former Arsenal defender Martin Keown feels the club have made the right move, per Rhys Turrell of the Daily Star:
After Fabregas left, Arsene had to invest time in someone else and he doesn't want to block their path if Fabregas comes back.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is someone who can play in that central midfield position as well as Jack Wilshere of course.
Wenger probably feels he's more than catered for in that attacking midfield area - it's a defensive midfielder that's going to be more purposeful in that Arsenal squad now.
Arsene Wenger’s reluctance to bring back his former skipper has paved the way for Chelsea to acquire the 27-year-old's services, and he’ll be a fine purchase for Mourinho and his team.
Fabregas is a player well accustomed to the rigours of Premier League football and a midfielder that is intricate, intelligent and extremely creative. He is a player that is capable of occupying a variety of positions, and could line up either in the attacking-midfield triumvirate behind the centre-forward, or alongside Nemanja Matic in one of the holding-midfield berths.
He brings goals and assists to a team as well, and plenty of them. In that respect, he’ll be an excellent replacement for Chelsea’s all-time record goalscorer Frank Lampard, who was released by the club following the conclusion of the 2013-14 season.
Here’s how Fabregas fares when compared with the top attacking-midfield players from both Arsenal and Chelsea:
|Midfielders Comparison 2013/14 (League Games Only)|
|Appearances||Goals||Assists||Average Key Passes Per Game|
The move for the Barcelona midfielder represents a major statement of intent from Mourinho. Diego Costa looks set to join the club too, per Nick Lustig of the Daily Star, and those two players would give this Chelsea team a refreshing new attacking edge.
While Chelsea’s defence was typically tight under Mourinho last season, going forward they were often a little one-dimensional. By acquiring the services of both Costa and Fabregas, the Chelsea boss will go a long way towards eradicating those issues.
Metro provides us with a light-hearted look at how Chelsea could line up next season with the aforementioned duo in the side:
The transfer window may not even be officially open yet, but the early forays into the market made by the Stamford Bridge outfit mean they’re already looking like the team to beat ahead of next season. Mourinho will also have the luxury of welcoming back Thibaut Courtois and Romelu Lukaku from prosperous loan spells, giving his squad a revitalising blend of youth and experience.
Getting Fabregas on board could be the most astute capture of the summer, though. To acquire an established world-class talent for the reported fee is an absolute steal in the modern game and Fabregas is sure to be a major hit at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea supporters will be naturally delighted with the purchase of such a wonderful player, but it'll be made even sweeter for those of a blue persuasion by the fact that it's likely to rile their rivals in the north of the city.