After losing out on Thiago Alcantara, new Manchester United boss David Moyes has turned his attention to another Barcelona midfield ace in the shape of Cesc Fabregas.
While Alcantara’s reunion with Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich means less competition for game time at the Camp Nou, the Spaniard is said to be frustrated at being overlooked for the Catalan giants’ biggest games.
And with next year’s World Cup on the horizon, the former Arsenal star will want to prove himself on the biggest stage.
However, while a move to the current champions and the chance to team up once again with Robin van Persie holds obvious appeal, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has all the power over any deal.
The Gunners worked a first refusal clause into Cesc’s Barca contract and also insisted that the Gunners get 50 per cent of any transfer fee paid for their former captain.
Whether that 50 per cent applies to the whole fee or just the profit is unclear, but with Arsenal in the market for a creative midfield presence, the stipulations could pave the way for an Emirates return for Fabregas – a move priced at 7/2.
However, a striker is a more pressing issue for Wenger and a theory that is gathering pace is that the Gunners boss could be prepared to waive his right to re-signing Cesc in order to grease the wheels for a move for Wayne Rooney.
The want-away United hitman has returned to England from the Red Devils’ tour of the Far East with the club citing a hamstring injury.
But speculation is mounting that the England forward is eyeing up talks with London clubs with Arsenal 10/1 third favourites to land their man.
United have tabled a bid of €30 million (£25.9 million) for Fabregas and while Moyes has so far insisted that Rooney is staying put, the Scot could be tempted to grant the 27-year-old his wish if it means adding a top name to his midfield.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.