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AC Milan Reportedly Step Up Cesc Fabregas Interest Amid Chelsea Exit Rumours

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistNovember 28, 2018

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 04: Cesc Fabregas of Chelsea FC in action during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge on November 04, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images)
Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images

AC Milan are reportedly ready to step up their interest in signing Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas, with the Serie A side said to be looking to land the player in the January transfer window.

According to Corriere dello Sport (h/t Sport Witness), the Milan giants want to bring in the veteran midfielder midseason. And with Fabregas' contract with the Blues set to run out at the end of the campaign, they are hopeful of getting a deal done.

Milan are said to have started talks with Chelsea about a possible transfer at the start of November, and the summer deal that saw Tiemoue Bakayoko move to the Italian side on loan reportedly strengthened the relationship between the two clubs.

As such, Corriere dello Sport say there's a belief at Milan that they could land Fabregas at an "advantageous cost."

In theory, Milan could sign Fabregas for no transfer fee, as he'll be allowed to negotiate terms with teams from overseas over signing a pre-contract from January. The player himself is said to be open to the possible transfer, although Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri would reportedly like to land a replacement first.

Fabregas' stock at Chelsea has slowly been falling, and the additions of Ross Barkley, Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho this year have seen him fall a long way down the pecking order.

Speaking on Wednesday ahead of the team's meeting with PAOK in the UEFA Europa League, Sarri outlined the role he still thinks Fabregas can play in the side:

Liam Twomey @liam_twomey

Sarri on midfield: "I want to play a very technical CM (Jorginho/Fabregas). I don’t want Kante in this position. Kante in the last match wanted to solve the match after the first 15 mins but in the wrong way. He lost the position, he attacked too much the other box."

When the 31-year-old has featured this season, it's been in the position at the base of midfield in place of Jorginho. However, while the Italy international has struggled at times lately, he's mainly been excellent, making it difficult for the Spaniard to force his way into the team.

As such, Fabregas has been limited to just 48 minutes of Premier League football over the course of three substitute appearances.

In the Europa League, he's had much more regular involvement and has shown he still has the technical ability to dictate matches:

WhoScored.com @WhoScored

Most passes in the Europa League this season: πŸ₯‡ A. Christensen -- Chelsea (318) πŸ₯ˆ C. Fabregas -- Chelsea (308) πŸ₯‰ R. Holding -- Arsenal (292) https://t.co/CsAXk9cMfE https://t.co/vEqxmXy8mK

Chelsea don't have a natural replacement for Jorginho, and with that in mind the caution from Sarri's perspective when it comes to selling Fabregas is understandable. Someone of his class and experience will be useful to have around the squad too, with the Blues poised to challenge on numerous fronts.

Fabregas will want to play regular football at this point in his career, though, and he clearly still has plenty to offer. Having shone previously in English football and in La Liga with Barcelona, a move to Serie A with Milan would provide him with another fresh challenge.