Fabregas and Nasri Closer to the Exit Than Ever Before: Will Gunners Approve?
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It seems that Cesc Fabregas has played his last game for Arsenal, with a number of journalists reporting that a deal for the player's move to Barcelona is all but complete.
Guillem Balague has even added the details of the fee with a base of €35m, plus €5m add-ons and with additional €1m a year for five years coming from Fabregas himself.
It hasn't been an easy time for any of the parties concerned and, if truth be told, neither Barca nor Arsenal have come out of this looking too good, but I sense that Arsenal are the biggest losers in every sense.
That said, it's also pretty certain that Samir Nasri will be moving to Manchester City for about £20m.
In a financial sense, two big-name players leaving within days will no doubt help Arsene Wenger to rebuild his depleted squad, but he wont have much time to conclude deals and bed any newcomers in.
But if both players leave, which seems very likely, how will Arsenal be viewed by any potential transfer targets?
Will players of any reasonable quality want to wait until the club has been confirmed as participants in the Champions League groups stages before committing to a move?
Will Arsenal qualify for next seasons Champions League?
Since Liverpool were last in the Champions League they have predominantly brought in young, English talent and very few of the players had a queue of clubs fighting for their signature.
Was this in part because of the club's lack of Champions League involvement? If it is, will Arsenal suffer the same problems? It's possible that it was, and Arsenal may suffer whilst recruiting players from the continent.
Arsene Wenger has a reputation for buying talent and developing it, but losing Fabregas and Nasri surely means he needs to invest in more proven players to remain competitive.
Even more interesting, though, will be the reaction of the paying punters at the Emirates who even before the loss of any talent this summer were less than happy with their team's performance.
Will the discontent spread and add even more pressure on the team to perform from the off? I think it will.
It's hard not to empathize with Gunners fans as they see their team struggle and lose some of its sparkle, but it's also very easy to suggest that they should give their heads a wobble as they have had it so good for so long they don't know how most of the league suffers from year to year.
Unless some big names are brought in to replace Fabregas and Nasri, we could perhaps see them struggle to secure Champions League football for next season.
And then the trouble really would begin.
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