Catalan newspaper MundoDeportivo has today reported that Arsene Wenger has told Cesc Fabregas he can leave Arsenal, but joining a Premier League team is definite non-starter.
The Arsenal manager seems resigned to losing his star midfielder but has put certain stipulations on Fabregas’ exit leaving Barcelona and Real Madrid the favourites to sign the Spanish international.
Fabregas is currently at home in Arenys de Mar, Barcelon, and will be holidaying with Barcelona players Gerard Pique and Carlos Puyol in Ibiza over the coming days adding to the speculation that Fabregas will be playing in Spain next season.
It’s well documented that Fabregas wants a return to Barcelona, the club which gave him his chance in football, and Arsenal turned down a €40m bid from Barcelona at the start of last season.
While Fabregas’ stock has dwindled this season it would take an offer in the same region to tempt the Arsenal board into selling their captain, but Barcelona may not be able to afford the 24-year-old.
Pep Guardiola has been given a strict budget of €45m to spend on three players this summer and there are strong rumours linking Udinese forward Alexis Sanchez to Barcelona.
The Catalan giants having offered €25m for Sanchez which was turned down by Udinese, but Spanish reports suggest that the offer will be upped to €30m.
My basic maths would tell me that would leave Guardiola with just €15m and that would certainly not be enough to sign Fabregas.
Real Madrid could afford the central midfielder and while it’s likely Fabregas would rather the move to Barcelona, there’s a general feeling in Spain that he would relish the chance to play for Real.
Madrid are in the stronger position to offer Arsenal, and Fabregas, what they want and it seems more likely that Fabregas will be holidaying with Sergio Ramos and Iker Casillas come the end of next season.