The short history of this rumor has been an active one, with news linking Cesc Fábregas to Chelsea only about 72 hours old. In the time we’ve heard:
- Arsenal was not interested, but Chelsea was;
- The Blues were willing to pay $45 million for the Barcelona star;
- The Chelsea board was interested, but the club’s manager was not; and,
- Arsenal was really, truly not interested in it’s option on the former Gunner.
Now comes another twist, though with Mourinho’s actual words backing this turn, it appears as Chelsea is making a move for the Spanish international. From reporting by The Guardian:
“We have some interest [in Fábregas],” said Mourinho. “I have interest in analysing the situation.
“I think it looks like he’s really interested in leaving Barcelona and is very, very interested in coming back to England. This, I think, is clear. There is a process where he wants to leave, [and] he wants to come to England because it’s the country where he wants to be, where he prefers to play. We are interested in monitoring the situation.”
Also in The Guardian’s report: Chelsea have opened formal negotiations with Barcelona; No fee has been set, but the price is expected to be just north of $50 million (£30 million); Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United are all prioritizing other deals, paving the road for Chelsea; Barcelona is intent on making a move for Atlético Madrid’s Koke, ostensibly with some of its Fábregas money.
Koke’s role in the move is an interesting one. The Atleti midfielder has also been linked with Chelsea, with Tuesday reports hinting Mourinho preferred the Atlético star to Fábregas. Two days later, however, that view has either changed, been proven wrong, or been re-prioritized. While both Fábregas and Koke could move to Chelsea, in a world of Financial Fair Play, most clubs don’t have room for such redundancies.
Then again, Mourinho’s only saying the club is “monitoring the situation.” Perhaps Chelsea is negotiating with both Barcelona and Atlético, but because of Fábregas’s history in England, one deal is getting more attention than the other.
Regardless, it’s clear Chelsea are at least mildly interesting in bringing in the former Gunner. With Diego Costa all but fitted for a uniform, Chelsea’s acting quickly to address the weaknesses in last season’s squad.