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May 28, 2010
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It's the transfer season again, with lots of activity as clubs try and seal deals before the all important World Cup. The usual dosage of transfer rumors and speculations have hit the market, but none more eye-catching and controversial as the Barcescalona Story.
If there was ever one player from La Masia whom the Blaugrana missed picking up it has to be Cesc. There was a fair bit of hue and cry when Le Prof stole Cesc from La Masia, under the very noses of those at Nou Camp. They are now back to reclaim the One that got away. There is no doubt that Fabregas will return to the turf at Nou Camp that he considers hallowed but given Barcelona's recent success and their outstanding debts (to the tune of 450 million euros) do they need the young Arsenal captain.
Fabregas, is all of 23 and if he were to go to Barcelona he would definitely be surplus to requirements there. Given a man of his class though, it will not take former La Masia prodigy, long to grab his place and cement his position in what is arguably the best team in the world. At Arsenal, Fabregas is part of new revolutionary, young squad but given that Arsenal have been without any trophies for the last 5 years, he is getting impatient while his mates at Nou Camp have been parading their shiny medals year after year. However, a year or two (for the optimist) would see Fabregas reach the pinnacle of his game and would seem the perfect time for him to replace the spectacular but ageing Xavi.
The last week however has seen Barcelona sink to deplorable lows ethically in an attempt to wrench Fabregas back. The first low blow was when Fabregas was in Catalonia and Barcelona issued a statement saying "It's now or never" to the talismanic gunner. This was followed by a press release saying Pep Guardiola (widely acclaimed as Fabregas' idol) may not remain top boss at Nou Camp for very long. So where is he headed then ? (To Madrid ?) There has also been constant chatter from Cesc's Spanish team-mates urging the Spaniard to return to Spain. Enough to push Cesc to request his mentor Arsene Wenger for a transfer back home. Then there are always the Spanish papers, hand-in-glove with the Big Two in Spain. There has been a constant stream of stories indicating the deal is done and dusted without there even being any contact between the concerned clubs.
Whats more is the absolutely rubbish offer Barcelona are contemplating for the midfield maestro. 30 million pounds. After having spent 45 mil + Eto'o for Ibra's dross week in and week out, this is the respect they have for one of the World's best midfielders and whats more is he is just 23. They have also been pushing the former La Masia prodigy (indirectly) to ask for a formal transfer request to force his way out if things on the negotiating front don't look too good. Given Arsene Wenger is a soft person when it comes to letting players have their way with transfers, how will he react when his finest protege pressures him to let go? For now it seems the decision to let go or not, lies in the hands of Le Prof. Will Barca offer an irresistible price for Gunner's skipper - closer to the 80 million pound evaluation? It remains to be seen.
In the seven years that Cesc has spent with the Gunners he has been a symbol of hope for the Arsenal faithful. Humble, focussed, inspirational and a real delight to watch. Losing him would be a big blow Arsenal's chances next season. The only silver lining being the money his sale would bring to the club. Money which could be used to buy experienced and quality players to keep the club afloat.
It would be down to Arsene Wenger to persuade the Arsenal skipper to stay. However, in the event that, Fabregas wants to leave, Arsene would have to let him go. For Arsenal to lose a player of Fabregas' stature would leave a hole that would take some filling. However no player is bigger than the club and keeping an unhappy Fabregas for a crucial season would not do any good to Arsenal. The Red and White army has bounced back every season to make the top four despite selling established stars. Its time for an encore. With or without Fabregas lets hope they go all the way.