After signing with Chelsea for $46 million (£27m) last week, Cesc Fabregas has admitted that he chose the Blues only after Arsenal declined to exercise a buy-back option in his contract with Barcelona.
The 27-year-old Catalan native claims it was he who decided his time with the Blaugrana was up and that former club Arsenal did not chase his signature due to the presence of Mesut Ozil. That loss was Chelsea’s gain after manager Jose Mourinho convinced Fabregas of other options available to him in the Premier League.
From The Guardian:
When I decided that my time at Barcelona had ended, I looked for the best option for me. Arsenal was the first option, for contractual reasons. There was a clause that gave them the right to decide. We spoke to Wenger and he said that the space was very well filled by Mesut Özil and it was hard to find a place for both of us in the team.
I wanted to go back to the Premier League and I had to think about what my options were then. I had many very good offers, the logical options. I spoke to José Mourinho and he told me that he wanted me there. He convinced me very, very quickly. He told me what I wanted to hear; he won me over and convinced me. It was very quick. I am very happy, very satisfied and I think it will all go phenomenally well.
Despite having a number of central midfielders, Arsenal’s decision not to pursue Fabregas is one that has many Gunners fans up in arms. Capable of playing in the holding role or the attacking three, Fabregas has more quality than Mikel Arteta and would provide more offensive firepower to the first-choice holding pair of Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey. But it’s Fabregas’ ability to create further up the pitch that makes Arsenal’s decline even more surprising, as Santi Cazorla’s desire to leave North London in favor of a move to Atletico Madrid is threatening to unhitch the attacking three.
More than mere positional help, though, is the fact that Fabregas is a player who has already proven himself a brilliant fit in Wenger’s system. Noted to be ‘like a son’ to Wenger, Fabregas was raised on the Frenchman’s style of play and would seamlessly fit in with the current core of players. He is, in short, a guaranteed thing, a quality hard to find in today’s crazy puzzle of football transfers.
PARIS (AP) A French official says police investigating suspected tax fraud linked to the soccer industry have raided the headquarters of Paris Saint-Germain and the homes of three Argentine players in France.
The official said anti-corruption police units searched the homes of PSG players Angel Di Maria and Javier Pastore, and that of Nantes forward Emiliano Sala on Tuesday.
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Police also raided the head offices of PSG at Parc des Princes and other offices in Boulogne-Billancourt, outside the French capital, the official said.
The official, familiar with the case, declined to be identified because the investigation is ongoing.
The national financial prosecutor’s office opened an investigation in December after so-called “football leaks” reports allegedly detailed tax arrangements by top players, coaches and clubs.
Real Madrid didn’t wait long after learning Vinicius Junior was healthy.
The 16-year-old Flamengo star is committed to the Bernabeu after passing a physical, and Real Madrid announced Tuesday that they’ll have their new player no later than July 2019.
The reported fee is $50 million, which would be the most money spent on a Brazilian player since Barcelona landed Neymar for about $64 million in 2013.
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The forward has made two appearances for Flamengo, and turns 17 on July 12. He has 19 goals in 22 appearances for Brazil’s U-17 side.
Here’s Real’s announcement:
Real Madrid C. F. and Clube de Regatas do Flamengo have reached an agreement regarding the transfer of the federative rights of the player Vinicius Junior from July 2018. The player will remain at his current club until July 2019, although he will be able to play for Real Madrid before then if both clubs agree to it.
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MADRID (AP) Spanish authorities say former Barcelona president Sandro Rosell and his wife have been detained in a probe over his businesses in Brazil.
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The detentions early Tuesday are part of a money laundering investigation related to buying television rights for past matches of Brazil’s national team.
Three other people have been detained, but their identities were not immediately released by authorities.
Police raided offices, homes, and businesses in Barcelona and other locations in Spain as part of “Operation Rimet,” in reference to former FIFA President Jules Rimet.
Authorities said the operation used information from the FBI following the U.S. case against high-level FIFA officials in 2015.
Rosell is already standing trial for fraud and corruption charges involving the 2013 transfer of Brazilian striker Neymar.