The sadness bug appears to be spreading in Spain. Days after Cristiano Ronaldo revealed that he was unhappy with certain people at Real Madrid, Cesc Fabregas has hinted that he is not entirely thrilled currently with life at Barcelona.
Fabregas' remarks have sparked speculation in the British press that the midfielder could be set for a dramatic return to former club Arsenal. The Gunners have first-option to re-sign Fabregas should he leave Camp Nou.
The 25-year-old's comments come on the back of his failure to yet complete 90 minutes this season under new Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova.
"There's no such thing as a great substitute in the world of football--I couldn't tell you what makes a great substitute," Fabregas told Marca.
"I always wish my team-mates well and put a happy face on. If I have to take my unhappy face home then so be it, but I would never let my team-mates or manager see it.
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"I've always said that I play for the best team in the world, but I came here to compete, to learn and enjoy, not to sit wracking my brains."
Following a long and persistent pursuit, Fabregas finally rejoined Barcelona last season after having spent eight years at Arsenal. But his arrival at Barca led to previous coach Pep Guardiola deviating from his 4-3-3- formation and Fabregas being deployed in a range of different positions. It was a far cry from his time in North London, where Fabregas had an almost free rein tactically. Fabregas himself admitted that he struggled to adapt. After three dominant years, Barcelona fell short in both La Liga and the Champions League.
Fabregas has been utilized in a more orthodox midfield role so far this season, but was an unused substitute in the second-leg of the Spanish Super Cup against Real Madrid.
TalkSport has claimed that Fabregas' unhappiness means that he could be set for a shock return to the Emirates. The player, himself, though, added that he has every intention on remaining with his boyhood club.
"I am delighted to be a part of this team, but when a coach tells me I have to go, I will go--but I will not make it easy for him to do so, by any means," he admitted.
"I will keep going, looking forward to the time that things change.
"I came here to see out my career."
At this stage, a return to Arsenal for Fabregas seems highly unlikely. The Spain international will be loathed to leave a club which he was desperate to return to, especially if his time there was deemed a failure.
There is little doubt that Arsenal would relish having their former captain back, however. In contrast to the likes of Samir Nasri and Robin van Persie, who left for Premier League rivals in acrimonious circumstances, there was an understanding from fans that Fabregas was following his heart rather than his wallet in leaving.
As always with Arsenal, though, the question of finances could well be a stumbling block. Even if Fabregas was available, whether Arsenal would be prepared to pay Barcelona's valuation-an amount that would surely smash their transfer record--remains highly doubtful.