When Arsenal sold Cesc Fabregas to Barcelona in 2011, they made sure they’d get the first look at reacquiring him ahead of any rivals on the global stage by inserting a buy-back clause that was essentially a “right of first refusal” should Fabregas hit the transfer market.
Three years later, Arsene Wenger’s club has reportedly issued a “thanks but no thanks” on the clause, opting not to reacquire the 27-year-old playmaker. The move means a Premier League rival, or anyone else, can now swoop for the Spanish midfielder.
It also doesn’t completely mean an Arsenal reunion is out of the question should the asking price of approximately $50 million go down a bit, though it’s hard to think one of the deep-money clubs in Europe won’t dig out the cash for Fabregas, who was said to be keen on a North London return.
From the BBC:
The Spaniard, who started his career at Barcelona and still has two years of his existing contract to run, has been linked with Chelsea following the departure of Frank Lampard and his future is expected to be decided in the next two or three weeks.
On Thursday, his international team-mate Gerard Pique was caught on camera apparently telling Spain coach Vicente del Bosque that ‘he [Fabregas] told me that it is already done, he is leaving already, 33m euros he said’, but the pair are thought to have been joking.
Fabregas was the subject of two unsuccessful bids from Manchester United last summer and told BBC Sport in February he was “flattered” by their interest.
He is part of the Spain squad set to begin their defence of the World Cup against the Netherlands on 13 June.
So where do you think Fabregas winds up? Is he set to stay at Barcelona, to move to Chelsea or Manchester United, or is there a wild card out there in France, Italy, Spain or England?