Multiple reports claim Manchester United are interested in signing Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas.
The Spanish midfielder, 29, was signed by new United boss Jose Mourinho at Chelsea and was a star and assist machine (18 in the Premier League) during the Blues’ 2014-15 title-winning campaign.
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Fabregas, according to the Daily Mirror, could become surplus to requirements at Chelsea with new manager Antonio Conte wanting “more steel” in midfield. The Blues look to be closing in on signing N'Golo Kante, plus Andre Gomes and Radja Nainggolan are still on Conte’s radar as he looks to overhaul Chelsea’s midfield.
In his second season at Chelsea, Fabregas’ play dropped considerably and that was one of the key factors in Mourinho losing his job at Stamford Bridge in December of last year.
It has been widely reported that Fabregas, Eden Hazard and other senior figures in Chelsea’s dressing room were leading calls for Mourinho to be fired by Chelsea, something the player has since refuted but if these reports are true then surely Mourinho’s relationship with the former Arsenal and Barcelona midfielder is better than previously thought.
Where exactly would Fabregas slot in at Old Trafford?
He would play in midfield alongside either Bastian Schweinsteiger or Morgan Schneiderlin and it is clear Mourinho is looking for an all-action central midfielder to link up with the likes of Wayne Rooney, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Marcus Rashford and Henrikh Mkhitaryan in attack.
During his opening press conference as United’s manager, the Portuguese coach stated he has already signed three of his four main targets (Eric Bailly, Ibrahimovic and Mkhitaryan) while links to Blaise Matuidi and Paul Pogba continue.
Mourinho wants to create a new spine for the Red Devils and central midfield is the final area he intends to strengthen.
Matuidi seems eager to join with the Paris Saint-Germain midfielder reportedly flying to England during EURO 2016 for talks with United, while Pogba’s situation remains complicated with his agent Mino Raiola stating that Juventus have offered the French international a new contract and Pogba is happy in Turin. That said, if United comes calling with a world record bid of over $130 million then Juve may find it hard to resist selling their prize possession.
As for Fabregas, concerns continue about his physicality in the Premier League as he was often hustled out of games and drifted through much of last season.
His quality on the ball in open play and from set piece situations cannot be disputed but is he the final piece in Mourinho’s jigsaw as he aims to return United to greatness?