Arsenal Transfer Rumours: 5 Reasons Why Arsene Wenger Should Sell Cesc Fabregas
The Cesc Fabregas transfer saga has gone on long enough.
Arsenal have endured another heartbreaking campaign, failing to win silverware for a sixth-consecutive season.
Although their talismanic captain is clearly the club's best player, it is time for him to go. He has come out publicly with his desire to return to Barcelona and reunite with his Spanish compatriots.
With pressure mounting on players and manager Arsene Wenger to deliver trophies, changes must be made at the North London club.
The constant rumours linking Fabregas with a move away from the club has only been a hindrance and distraction. Although Arsenal can no longer be considered a young side, the transfer talks surrounding the Spanish midfielder cannot help with the club's continued development and growth.
As captain and face of the club, Fabregas should be an exemplification of everything that Arsenal is and strives to be. While he may be one of the best midfielders in the world, his clear desire to leave has tarnished the Spaniard's legacy as club captain.
Over the past few seasons, Wenger has built the team around the midfield maestro. Although the Gunners have played some of the most attractive football in recent history, this current group of players have not delivered a trophy.
The Spaniard's market value has almost reached its peak, and Wenger needs to capitalize on the exceptionally high demand for his captain and midfield general. It will be in Arsenal's best interest to sell the player this summer.
Here are five reasons why Wenger should sell Fabregas, now.
Commitment to the Club
Fabregas' love for Barcelona has been an absolute plague for Arsenal.
The club's captain, inspiration and best player has craved a move away from the Emirates for years. Every summer, the first story to hit the front page is Fabregas's dream move to Barcelona.
He has always been linked with a return to his boyhood club. However, after winning a World Cup with many of the Catalan players, it is clear that Fabregas' heart lies in Barcelona.
The Spaniard wants to be in Barcelona. He wants to play with his friends and compatriots. He wants to win trophies.
Although the Arsenal captain has rarely let his personal desires interfere with his play on the field, Fabregas has been a hindrance to the club. When a player wants to leave, the team chemistry and dynamic always change. While the Spaniard may feel that he is giving maximum effort, he is no longer 100 percent invested.
Fabregas so clearly wants to be at Barcelona that it is impossible to see his focus and intensity matching those players who are committed and happy at Arsenal. Making matters worse, the Spaniard is not just a role player or first-team regular. Fabregas is the captain.
The midfielder is not at fault for his desire to leave, but the transfer saga has become an absolute mess. Wenger knows that his midfield maestro wants out, but he does not want to part with such a special talent. Fabregas wants to leave, but he knows that as team captain he must be professional and at his best for the Gunners.
The whole situation has spiraled out of control. Arsenal rejected Barcelona's £35 million bid last summer. However, if the Catalan giants increase their offer to the £40-50 million range, Wenger should offload the talismanic captain.
Fabregas and the constant rumours surrounding his departure have plagued Arsenal long enough, it is now time for Wenger to part with the playmaker and reinvest the transfer fee into new players.
Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey
Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey are two of the most promising young talents in world football.
The 19-year-old Wilshere has been touted as England's first total footballer. The youngster's impressive season as an Arsenal first-team regular has caught the eye of national team manager Fabio Capello. The Italian believes the hard-working, technically gifted midfielder is an exciting talent and will eventually wear the captain's armband for England. Wilshere has been a key figure for Arsenal this season and has emerged as one of the brightest young stars in English football.
Arsenal's other young midfield maestro has already assumed the role of captain for the Welsh national team. At 20 years of age, Ramsey is the youngest national team captain in history and has the potential to become one of the best central midfielders in Europe. Before suffering a devastating leg injury from a robust Ryan Shawcross challenge, the Welshman was thought to be the clear successor to Fabregas in Arsenal's midfield. Although Wilshere has jumped ahead in the pecking order, Ramsey is still an unbelievable talent.
The young midfielder has struggled to regain his peak form following the broken leg. However, he has started to recapture some of his sharpness with each appearance in the first team.
Although Fabregas' vision and creativity is second to none, the two young Arsenal midfielders are excellent replacements in the heart of midfield.
Wilshere might not have the creativity on the ball, but his technique and work-rate make him a true midfield dynamo. The young Englishman is excellent in possession and has a great footballing brain to complement his skill.
While Ramsey is not quite the total footballer like his club teammate, his movement and eye for a pass is Fabregas-esque. With more first-team football, the youngster will be able to show his true quality and ability on the ball.
Arsenal need to sell Fabregas in order to cash in on the player's astronomical market value and allow the two starlets to continue their development. If Wenger keeps his current tactical system, Ramsey would slot in perfectly alongside Alex Song and Wilshere in the middle. With the imposing Cameroonian shielding the back four, the two maestros will have the freedom to support the attack and run the game from midfield.
A Wilshere and Ramsey midfield partnership has the potential to mirror that of Xavi and Iniesta at Barcelona. The young midfielders have the technique and passing ability to play outstanding one and two-touch football, which has been a hallmark of Arsenal's style of play. Wenger should sell Fabregas this summer, and allow the two youngsters to develop and fulfill their huge potential.
The captain has been the key element to Arsenal for several years. However, there are two superb talents waiting to assume more responsibility in the heart of midfield.
Manchester City: £50-60 Million
Big-spending Manchester City have shown serious interest in signing the Arsenal captain.
Backed by Sheikh Mansour, the Citizens are one of the few clubs in the world that can match Wenger's £60 million valuation for the Spanish midfielder.
Manager Robert Mancini has expressed his admiration for Fabregas, saying that the Gunners' midfielder could be the key to bringing a title to Eastlands. The Spaniard is at the top of City's list of summer transfer targets, as the club looks forward to challenging for domestic and European glory next season.
Although Arsenal have reportedly set Fabregas' asking price at £50 million, if they were to sell the playmaker to City, there would most likely be an inflation in the transfer fee.
Wenger would prefer to sell the Spaniard to a non-English club in order to avoid facing the player in domestic league and cup competitions. The two Spanish giants and the big Italian clubs would be the preferred destinations for Fabregas.
While Wenger would prefer to move the Spaniard abroad, City's willingness to pay £50-60 million should change his mind. Madrid and Barcelona have the money to land the midfielder, but the Citizens will flash their monetary muscle and outbid the Spanish giants. In terms of a straight transfer, City can pay the premium to sign Arsenal's talismanic captain.
If Arsenal were to reinvest Fabregas' transfer fee directly into new players, the club could bolster a squad that is only one or two players away from winning a title. Wenger is renown for his tight financial control, bargain buys and young signings. However, selling the Spaniard would give the Frenchman the luxury of true spending power.
Wenger has often been priced out of his ideal summer signings, but selling Fabregas to City could give him the financial freedom to land a world-class striker and central defender.
The Frenchman is an admirer of Juventus' Giorgio Chiellini, Lille's Eden Hazard and Real Madrid's Karim Benzema. Fabregas' transfer fee could single-handedly finance the deals for two out of the three players.
The Arsenal manager has also shown serious interest in English talents such as Gary Cahill, Phil Jagielka and Leighton Baines. Wenger has spoken about the inflation for prime English talent, but selling Fabregas could give him the money to land some of his long-term targets.
Although sending Fabregas to City will make them one of the most dangerous sides in all of Europe, Wenger should be thinking about what is best for the club. The Citizens are willing to pay top dollar for the Spanish playmaker, and Arsenal should cash in for the player's maximum value.
With Fabregas' transfer fee, Wenger could make several key additions to the Gunners. Parting with the club's best player will be tough, but Arsenal will benefit from the huge fee that the captain commands.
Inter and AC Milan: £20-30 Million and Eto'o/Ibrahimovic
Both Inter and AC Milan have been closely monitoring Fabregas' situation at Arsenal.
Inter's president Massimo Moratti has shown serious interest in signing Arsenal's talismanic captain for the past two summers. The club will be looking to dethrone their city rivals and reclaim the Scudetto next season. Inter are always looking to bring in top-quality players, but with an aging side, the 24-year-old would be a young and talented addition to the squad.
With Wesley Sneijder being heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford, Moratti will be looking for a natural replacement in midfield. If the Dutch playmaker leaves the Italian club, Fabregas would immediately become Inter's top priority and No. 1 target for the summer.
Although AC Milan have reportedly been priced out of a move for the midfield maestro, vice president Adriano Galliani has proven he can pull off the unexpected. With playmaker Andrea Pirlo leaving for Juventus, Milan are looking for a replacement on the left side of manager Massimiliano Allegri's three-man midfield.
While both Milan clubs have money to spend during the transfer window, it is unlikely that either have the finances to pay all of the Spaniard's £50 million price tag. Therefore, the two Italian giants will be looking to acquire Arsenal's midfield maestro in a £20-30 million cash-plus-player deal. Wenger would prefer to have the full transfer fee to purchase his own players, however both clubs have serious makeweights that can help the Gunners next season.
Inter would probably edge out their city rivals as the strongest Italian candidate to acquire Fabregas. Samuel Eto'o has been the man rumored to be used in the cash plus player deal for Arsenal's midfield maestro. With Nicklas Bendtner on his way out of, the Cameroonian striker would be a great acquisition for a side that lacks quality upfront.
With his impressive displays at Barcelona and Inter, Eto'o has emerged as one of the elite strikers in world football. Not only can he find the back of the net, but the Cameroonian has a relentless determination and will to win.
Eto'o was exceptional out on the left for Mourinho's treble-winning Inter side, and he has been deadly as a traditional striker this season with 37 goals in all competitions. Inter's leading goal scorer would bring much-needed experience to a youthful Arsenal side. Eto'o is a proven winner, and with his versatility along the frontline, he could form a deadly partnership with Robin van Persie.
If Inter are prepared to offer £20-30 million and Eto'o for the Arsenal captain, Wenger should sell the midfield playmaker. The Cameroonian is a world-class talent, and with his goal-scorer prowess and all-around play, he could return the Gunners to their title-winning ways. The cash will allow the Frenchman to bolster his defense as well, making this offer too good to turn down.
Although Inter are more likely to capture the Spaniard, Milan have both the star and youth players to tempt the Arsenal manager. The Italian champions would also bid roughly £25 million, but the fee would fluctuate depending on the players involved in the deal.
Ibrahimovic was rumored to be a makeweight for Barcelona's bid to land the Spaniard last summer, and the imposing Swede could still play a role in the Fabregas transfer saga.
The tall swede has been on loan at Milan this season, and the club have the option to purchase the player for €24 million. Ibrahimovic has been a revelation this year, and Milan will most likely make the move permanent.
The striker has returned to his best form that saw Barcelona part ways with Eto'o in a blockbuster deal. Ibrahimovic has the technical ability to thrive in Arsenal's passing and possession-based style of play. Milan's star striker boasts a unique combination of size and skill, which would give Arsenal that extra dimension in the final third. Ibrahimovic would most likely be used as the main targetman, with van Persie dropping into the hole.
If Wenger does not express an interest in the Swedish striker, Milan could offer young talents such as Alexander Merkel instead. The young midfielder, touted as the next Clarence Seedorf, has impressed in his first-team appearances this season. Wenger has been known to court young talent, and Merkel is definitely one to watch for the future.
Arsenal would be able to put the transfer fee to similar use and look to improve the current squad.
Both Italian clubs have shown serious interest in the Arsenal captain. With the world-class strikers that could be used in a cash-plus-player deal, Wenger should sell the Spanish midfielder and capitalize on the opportunity to acquire elite talent upfront.
Real Madrid: £25 Million and Karim Benzema
With Arsenal reportedly slapping a £50 million price-tag on their star midfielder, Madrid will undoubtedly be looking for more creative ways to acquire the Spanish playmaker.
President Florentino Perez has shown a willingness to splash out astronomical fees for world-class talent. However, after the signings of Ronaldo, Xabi Alonso, Kaka and Karim Benzema in 2009, Madrid will either have to balance the books before making a bid or acquire the Arsenal captain in a cash-plus-player deal.
An exchange deal that sends Fabregas from London to Madrid, and Benzema vice versa, would be the most logical move for both clubs.
Wenger has publicly stated his desire to sign the French striker, as he looks to add quality to Arsenal's frontline. Although Mourinho has recently reiterated his desire to keep the Madrid No. 9, it is no secret that Benzema is not the manager's ideal choice upfront. For the right price or player exchange, it would not be a surprise to see the Frenchman leave Madrid.
When Argentine hitman Gonzalo Higuain was sidelined with a back injury early in the season, Mourinho was largely critical of the Frenchman. Comparing Benzema to an animal, the Madrid manager admitted that, "If you have not got a dog and you have got a cat, you hunt with a cat." The analogy created serious controversy in the Spanish capital, as it became clear that Mourinho did not have faith in the French striker.
Although Benzema had a rough start to the season, he scored crucial goals for Los Blancos in the second half of the campaign. If Madrid are prepared to offer the Frenchman as part of a cash-plus-player deal for Fabregas, Wenger would have to think seriously about capitalizing on the opportunity to gain £25 million in spending power and capture a player that tops his summer wish list.
At 23 years of age, Benzema is still developing and refining his game. The Madrid striker was one of the most sought-after talents in Europe during his time at Lyon. While he has failed to live up to the £30 million transfer fee at Madrid, Benzema has significant upside and undeniable skill.
The Frenchman has the potential to be one of Europe's elite strikers, and Wenger could acquire him for a slight discount. With Arsenal lacking quality and depth at the striker position, the Frenchman could provide the goals to push the Gunners to their first title in six years.
Not only would Arsenal receive money to reinvest into the squad, they would be landing the ideal striker for their style of play.
Benzema boasts exceptional skill on the ball and has emerged as an accomplished finisher. The Frenchman has a soft touch and combines well with the midfield. He is a perfect fit for Arsenal's passing style with his ability to play quick one-twos in and around the box. Benzema would also provide the goal-scoring touch that Arsenal have been missing in recent seasons. The Madrid striker has shown that he knows how to find the back of the net and can finish with either foot.
If Wenger agrees to sell his star midfielder, Benzema and van Persie could form a deadly strike partnership that mirrors the Invincibles' duo of Henry and Bergkamp. While the Frenchman does not have the sheer pace of Henry, he tends to drift out on the left like the former Arsenal skipper. Benzema excels when playing with a striker partner, which allows him to come deep to receive the ball and run at defenders.
Arsenal should pursue a £25 million and Benzema deal that would see their talismanic midfielder move to the Spanish capital. The pieces are all in place for a blockbuster summer deal. Wenger should be willing to sell the playmaker because the deal would give the club money to spend on a top defender, and a talented young striker with a hunger to prove his worth.
At only 23 years old, the Frenchman could be the next great Arsenal striker. He has all the technical skill and finishing ability to return Arsenal to domestic success and deliver the club's first Champions League trophy.
Fabregas is the club's heartbeat in midfield and best player. However, the money and quality Madrid have to offer cannot be ignored. Wenger would love to bring the French striker to London, and Madrid have been courting the Spaniard for years. While the deal makes sense for both clubs, Arsenal would be getting the better end of the deal. For £25 million and Benzema, Madrid would be paying maximum value for the playmaker, while Arsenal would be getting a slight discount for the promising French striker.
Wenger believes that the Spaniard is the best midfielder in the world, but the club will undoubtedly benefit from his transfer fee and the arrival of a talented striker in Madrid's Karim Benzema.