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Arsenal FC: Gunners Should Ask David Villa for Cesc Fabregas or Rebuff Barcelona

Vijay MuraliAnalyst IJune 3, 2011

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JULY 03:  David Villa of Spain celebrates after he scores his side's first goal with team mate Francesc Fabregas during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Quarter Final match between Paraguay and Spain at Ellis Park Stadium on July 3, 2010 in Johannesburg, South Africa.  (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
Jasper Juinen/Getty Images

It is inevitable that papers publish reports and rumors in the summer transfer window regarding Cesc Fabregas' future, and Barcelona and their players have only fueled speculation with their quotes about the Arsenal captain. Last summer, there was speculation until Cesc Fabregas' official statement regarding his future on the Arsenal website was published.

Barcelona did lodge an official bid for the Arsenal captain last summer, which did not match Arsene Wenger's valuation of the club's captain as he rejected their bids and retained the services of Fabregas for the 2010-11 season.

The former Barcelona youth player has been linked with a return to his former club and has admitted that he would like to return to the club at some point in his career.

However, the current Barcelona team, which is arguably the best in the world, have the experienced Xavi Hernandez, who is in charge of controlling the midfield for Barcelona, and Andres Iniesta, who shares a telepathic rapport with Xavi.

Cesc Fabregas cannot compete with Sergio Busquets, who is the defensive midfielder for the Blaugrana, for a place in the midfield, which means that the Arsenal captain could be benched regularly if he does sign for Barcelona.

Yet, that has not deterred him from making a statement on committing to the Gunners, which means that he could still be open to the idea of signing for Barcelona in the summer.

However, Fabregas' contract with the Gunners is through 2015, which means that Arsenal are in a strong position regarding a transfer. Since Fabregas is very important to the Gunners, Wenger will look to get the best deal for his captain.

With Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini openly declaring his interest in the Arsenal captain (though it seems extremely unlikely to interest Fabregas) and Real Madrid also reportedly interested in acquiring the services of the Arsenal captain, it is likely to further inflate Fabregas' price in the transfer market.

It is undeniable that Cesc Fabregas is one of the world's best midfielders, and at the age of 24, he still has a long and bright career ahead of him. Arsenal will probably not consider any offer less than £50 million and a sizable chunk of that fee will have to be used to sign a quality replacement for the Spaniard.

Fabregas has always maintained that he will only leave the Gunners for Barcelona and not any other club in the world, and if he does want to sign for the Blaugrana, the club will have to offer a huge sum in order to negotiate with Arsenal.

According to The Daily Star, Barcelona are prepared to offer a youth player of Arsenal's choice in addition to £40 million to sign Fabregas.

However, a youth player, even if they are very talented like Thiago Alacantera, is not required by the Gunners because he cannot replace a world-class player like Cesc Fabregas for the next season. With Aaron Ramsey returning from his injury, Arsenal have quality youngsters for the future. It is certain that Arsenal need quality players to replace their best players, and signing another youngster is not going to help them end their current trophy drought.

f Fabregas leaves, it will be a huge blow for Arsene Wenger. However, one player who Wenger should target in a swap deal for Cesc Fabregas is Barcelona striker David Villa, who has had an excellent debut season for Barca—though he did not have a great second half of the season—and if the money offered is around £15-20 million, it should be considered by Wenger and Arsenal.

According to a goal.com report, Barcelona have been linked with a €25-30 million swoop for Villarreal striker Giuseppe Rossi. The star's agent spoke with the Spanish daily AS and said talks are underway between the two sides.

At the age of 24, he is entering into the peak years of his career and is ready to take a big step. The left-footed striker can also play on the wing and is likely to be accommodated on the left wing of the 4-3-3 formation if he is signed by the Blaugrana.

It would mean that he will compete with Villa for a spot in the starting 11, with Pedro and Messi completing the forward line. At the age of 29, David Villa is not going to be the long-term future of Barcelona, but Villa will want to play regularly at his age and will not be a willing substitute considering he is wanted by many top teams in Europe.

Also, if Rossi is signed and Villa is retained by Barca, it will mean the end of Bojan Krkic's Barcelona career because it would mean extremely less opportunities for the Spaniard, but Pep Guardiola has been supportive of Bojan and would not like to see another youth player leave the club.

If Cesc Fabregas is signed by Barcelona, the Catalan club will also have the option of playing Andres Iniesta on the wings if one of their forwards is injured, which means they will have good depth in both positions (midfield and wings).

Arsenal will need to sign a prolific striker who can propel the Gunners to trophies, and strikers don't come much better than David Villa, who is easily one of the world's best.

Robin Van Persie has been prolific this season but has been injury prone throughout his career, and this coupled with the potential departures of Nicklas Bendtner and Carlos Vela means that the Gunners will look to add a quality striker to their squad.

Any replacement that Arsenal can find in the transfer market is not likely to be of the same quality of Cesc Fabregas. So, it is better for Wenger to play Samir Nasri in the central attacking midfield he favors, and it will provide him another incentive to sign a new contract.

If Arsenal can get a prolific striker like David Villa or Karim Benzema with the cash obtained from Barcelona, then it would be the best business that Arsenal can possibly do with the money from Fabregas' potential departure.

If Barcelona are not interested in selling David Villa in the deal for Fabregas, then Arsenal should rebuff Barca's offers of a potential player exchange deal and should consider offers only worth £55 million or above, because only then will the Gunners have the financial muscle to sign a top quality striker and some players in other areas to provide depth to the team.

Cesc Fabregas is one of the few world-class players in the current Arsenal squad, and though Wenger would like to retain him at the Emirates, a deal involving David Villa should be considered by the French tactician, as that could be the sort of striker that Arsenal need to win trophies.

But if Barcelona do not offer David Villa and both Gonzalo Higuain and Benzema are not available in the summer, Wenger should rebuff Barca's attempts because Fabregas staying could be integral to the Gunners' chances of winning trophies if Arsenal cannot find a versatile, world-class striker in the transfer market.

This article is also featured on The Invincible Gunners, a blog on Arsenal and also, you can follow me on Twitter.

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