Pep Guardiola, the Barcelona coach, has added some fuel to the fire that is the battle between his club and Arsenal for Cesc Fabregas, by saying that the Catalans will fight till the end of the transfer period for one of their own. For the past three seasons, Fabregas has been openly courted by Barcelona, a club that he left at the age of 15.
Guardiola, however, also insisted that his primary target this season would be the Chilean winger, Alexis Sanchez. His signing is expected to be wrapped up pretty soon as Chile has been eliminated from the Copa America.
It is clear why Sanchez is more important to the Catalans than Fabregas, despite his abundant talent and the fact that he is a local and from La Masia, the Barcelona youth academy. Barcelona are set to lose two of its support strikers, Jeffren Suarez and Bojan Krkic. David Villa is not young and an injury to Lionel Messi could seriously jeopardize the club’s chances. On the other hand, the club has plenty of mid fielders. However there seems to be no doubt that Fabregas would clearly improve the quality of and already impressive squad, as insisted by Guardiola.
Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal manager, has been trying hard to convince his captain to stay but the lack of silverware in the last five years and the club’s reluctance to sign marquee names are against him. He expressed his weariness about the saga a couple of days back and sounded like a man who would accept whichever way the turn of events go.
Fabregas, too, is reported to be torn in making a decision. A move now would take him to a side that is in its prime and could well turn out to be one of the world’s best club sides ever but it could also mean that he left Arsenal in trouble, when the side is desperate for a trophy. The agitation for a move by Samir Nasri has also complicated matters a little.
And for the first time in years, Arsenal seem to openly accepting that they are willing to allow their captain go, if the price is right. A reported bid of £26 million has already been turned down by the Gunners and according to their chairman, Peter Hill-Wood, there hasn’t been an improved offer.
The signing of Sanchez could speed things up in this saga as well and will also make it clear if Barcelona are really intent in bringing one of their sons back home.