Cesc Fabregas Will Stay: Barcelona Cannot Afford the Arsenal Captain

JamCorrespondent IMay 22, 2010

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 06:  Cesc Fabregas of Arsenal looks dejected during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Burnley at Emirates Stadium on March 6, 2010 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Well, we heard enough nonsense in the last few days to last us a lifetime.

Some Spanish dude writes a few speculative words in a Spanish newspaper and the whole British media goes into meltdown.

Their dream has finally come true: Arsenal losing their best player, their leader, their talisman. The heartbeat of the team.

Nobody stopped to think and ask some serious questions. The only thing the media was interested in was sensationalism, sensationalism...and yet more sensationalism. 

Gutter journalism was king and the truth was like an endangered species in desperate need of conservation.

Arsenal fans started calling in to talksport in droves, asking for Wenger's head and the board to be sacked. "We'll be a mid-table football club," one caller said.

I remember thinking, "silly reactionary fans, they never stop to think. This is exactly what these brain-dead hosts want. They know Arsenal fans always react like this...so predictable."

In all this mayhem and confusion, one thing was completely forgotten: Fabregas is contracted to Arsenal FC for four more years, until 2014. 

All those translated Fabregas quotes from Spain don't really matter because they are very unreliable. Any idiot can deliberately mistranslate and sensationalize them to sell papers.

What really matters is what the player himself tells the club and fans when he eventually releases a public statement to clarify his position.

Until then, Arsenal fans should ignore the silly rumours and speculation being spewed out by the likes of The Sun, The Mirror, and The Daily Mail. They are the gutter press, after all.  

Barcelona's Financial Problems

While all this was happening, Barcelona officials were finalizing the deal to bring David Villa from Valencia. The striker would cost a whopping €40 million.

Barcelona let it be known to the media that they value Cesc at around £30m. They feel that's a fair price for a player that came through their youth system, and won next to nothing in the way of major honors since.

The La Liga champions was acting like a club with deep pockets and flush with cash.

In reality, however, Barcelona are in serious financial trouble as Sandro Rossel, a presidential candidate, revealed last Thursday:

“We must be careful, because from an economic standpoint we are not good," Rosell said.

“We have a stratospheric level of debt. £420million (€489m) over what needs to be paid for Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Dmytro Chygrynskiy.

“We must improve the squad each year, but we must also make sure that we are managing the economic resources that the club needs to survive.”

Barcelona accumulated this debt after spending huge sums (on transfers and wages) to sign players such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thierry Henry, and Dmytro Chygrnskiy.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is responsible for a significant chunk of that debt. Last summer, the Swede cost a staggering €66 million (£57 m) when he signed from Inter Milan to become the second most expensive footballer in history.

Barcelona paid the Italians €46 million, plus Samuel Eto'o (valued at €20 million). He signed for an annual salary of €14.5 million (£8 million) including bonuses.

Therefore, given the seriousness of their financial predicament, can the Catalan club really afford to spend another big transfer fee on Cesc Fabregas?

The answer is NO.

The Right Price For Fabregas

Arsenal, tired of the rumors and speculation surrounding their captain, have reacted by slapping a hefty £80 million price tag on Fabregas.

The message is simple: if you want Cesc, you must pay the market price.

It doesn't matter that he was La Masia youth product...It doesn't matter that he (apparently) has a Barcelona "DNA." All that matters is the fact that Fabregas is an Arsenal player since the Gunners paid £500,000 for his services back in 2003.

The North Londenhave their own DNA, which stand for: DO NOT APPROACH.

Cesc Fabregas has a contract with the club for four more years.

He will only join La Blaugrana if:

a) Arsenal want to sell him

b) Barcelona offer something like what he's worth.

And what is the right price for Cesc? Around £40-50 million would be a fair valuation for a player that is, without doubt, the best young midfielder in the world. 

The Gunners maybe interested in a player plus cash deal, but only if it involves a really top class player like Yaya Toure. However, his agent thinks that "there is a thousand to one chance that Toure will be part of a transaction with Arsenal's Cesc."

Other swap deal candidates include Rafael Marquez and Bojan Krkic, but both are unlikely to move to the Emirates for different reasons.

First, Bojan is highly rated by the Barcelona manager, Pep Guardiola, who sees him as one for the future. Marquez, on the other hand, is more likely to move; but, as he's over 30 years of age, Arsenal may not offer him the right contract that he wants.


All this means that, if Barcelona are serious about signing Fabregas, then they'd probably need to offer a straight cash deal of at least £40 million for negotiations to start.

The Spanish champions were confident that the Gunners will cave in and release a player that, in their eyes, has had enough of life at the Emirates.

However, Arsenal's robust finances mean that Arsene Wenger, the Gunners boss, is under no pressure to sell any of his star players this summer. The North Londoners are ready to play hardball, even though the Spanish midfielder may want a final decision made before the World Cup.

Barcelona have realised this and seem to be taking a softly-softly approach where Arsenal are concerned.

Txiki Begiristain, the Spanish side's sporting director, told the club's website : "The player has shown his will to come to Barca, but we will not do anything until Arsenal want to negotiate. 

"We have the will of the player to come to Barcelona, but what we won't do is start to negotiate without Arsenal until an agreement is reached. 

"Cesc has a contract with his club and we will be very respectful."

Arsenal responded by confirming that the club had no intention of letting their skipper go.

Club chairman Peter Hill-Wood warned, “We are not remotely interested in selling him.” 

And Wenger backed him up yesterday, saying, “The chairman told you the story.”

However, Joan Laporta, the outgoing Barcelona president, wants to make Fabregas his second signing of the summer to gild his legacy. He will not give too easily. The struggle over the player could be a protracted one.

The only way Wenger and Arsenal would consider a sale is if Barcelona were to make an extraordinary offer, which will give the Gunners boss the chance to bolster the squad with three or four world class players.

If Barcelona cannot meet Arsenal's valuation for Cesc Fabregas, then the Spanish international will stay at the Emirates for at least one more season.


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