London football giant Arsenal is hoping to cling on to their high profile Spaniard and club captain Cesc Fabregas who has drawn a lot of attention from Spanish and European champion Barcelona, and a bit from Italian club AC Milan.
Fabregas came to London when he was only 16 and was picked up by Gunners’ boss Arsene Wenger from Barcelona where he joined as a trainee. Since then, he has earned the ranks in the London club and finally becoming the club’s captain in 2008. It was lot quicker a transition for someone who had only received his rights of making an appearance in the starting eleven after Arsenal great Patrick Viera left the Gunners for Juventus.
When Barca left Fabregas in 2003, the Spaniards did not expect that the player would build up to such an enigmatic stature. Now in 2011, the club is desperate for Fabregas to return at Camp Nou. But Fabregas, at the moment, holds the key to Arsenal’s success both in England and Europe and the club is in two minds to let go of him.
Now, new rumors have spread all over that the Spaniard is even willing to pay the London club to leave. It is being said that the Spanish midfielder is willing to give up more than £4 million ($7 million) worth of bonuses so that the club finalizes his deal with Barca.
The new speculation has just come a week before the start of the new season with the Spaniard rumored to have said that he will forget about the loyalty bonuses on the remaining four years of his contract.
The Gunners’ manager is unwilling to say anything regarding the matter, but is even not sure of the final outcome of the Fabregas drama.
“If Fabregas is committed to this club and wants to stay, no money will get him out of here. We are not in a position where we need to sell our players. We want to keep our players,” Wenger previously told Arsenal.com in an interview.
Wenger is in danger of losing his key men before the club kicks off its premiership run against Newcastle United next week. When Fabregas is all but lost, the club may also lose the likes of Frenchman Samir Nasri to Manchester City or United, Danish striker Nicklas Bendtner and Ivorian midfielder Emmanuel Eboue may also leave. Recent rumors have suggested that Dutchman Robin Van Persie has also attracted attention from Spanish giants Real Madrid.
While Barcelona continues to press for Fabregas, new reports of AC Milan also being interested have come in. Milan’s chief Adriano Gillani, however, has said that Fabregas is not on the Italian champion’s radar this summer. He quotes it as an “impossible task".
Gillani further said he believes Fabregas to be more of an Arsenal player and not a Barcelona one, and the club will not battle with Barcelona for him as his transfer fee is ‘hyperbolic’ and is not of top priority for the Italian club.
Fabregas’ Spanish team mate Xavi, however, has urged his club to make a revised bid for the Spaniard all the way and has even confirmed that the process is in its final stage. He says that the club is looking forward to Fabregas’ joining. He even added that he is presently 31 and will retire in the next two to three years and is hoping Fabregas will be his successor.
Arsenal has previously rejected Barcelona’s last offer of £32 million ($52 million) plus £5 million in additional payments and now the player is hoping that the Spanish club can meet the £40 million ($65 million) demand of Arsenal. The London club itself cannot make a move for their £20 million ($33 million) Valencia target Juan Mata until they have secured a price for either Fabregas or Samir Nasri.
Wenger previously said that he holds high respect for Fabregas, who has just recovered from his injury, but is in no position to start the new season from the beginning.
“I do not want to speak about the transfer of Fabregas because I have done that three years now in every press conference so I don't think there is any more need to add something,” said Wenger. “I love Fabregas and I want him to stay, which is basically it.”
Fabregas has appeared in 212 games for Arsenal and has managed to find the back of the net 35 times, and is the youngest goal scorer in Arsenal's history in a later round of the League Cup, scoring in a 5–1 victory against Wolverhampton Wanderers.