Written by Ben Askew
Cesc no a la venta… Cesc not for sale? That’s what Gerard Martino and his players are insisting to the media again this week
Since United’s long and ultimately unsuccessful chase of Thiago Alcantara ended, as the highly-rated Spaniard headed north to join a Bayern Munich side already packed with world-class midfielders, the Manchester side quickly set their sights on Alcantara’s ex-teammate, Cesc Fabregas.
United, who are looking to upset their rivals from North London for a second straight summer after purchasing Robin van Persie for £24million last summer, had also shown interest in former PSV midfielder Kevin Strootman who joined AS Roma this summer for a reported fee of €20 million.
Fans of the Red Devils have had no issues in stating their opinions on the need of a central midfielder to join the likes of Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley and the more attacking minded Shinji Kagawa. With many of these fans believing Fabregas to be the perfect fit in a side that is relying on a regularly questioned Anderson and a Darren Fletcher who hasn’t played since Boxing Day and is still recovering from a bowel operation.
However, after two bids of £25million and £30million being rejected by the Catalan club, the future of the midfielder is uncertain. David Moyes, who is keen to make a marquee signing in his first transfer window at Old Trafford, said at a press conference on Thursday that attempts to sign the former Arsenal man were “ongoing”.
New Barcelona manager, Gerardo Martino, has said there is no chance of Fabregas leaving the club, while vice-president Josep Maria Bartomeu has said “It’s logical that we’ve had offers for Fabregas because he is a quality player but he is not for sale”.
Current teammates of Fabregas have come out and stated they believe he will still be at Barcelona come the end of the transfer window, with Alex Song, Javier Mascherano and Gerard Pique coming out with quotes along those lines.
Current and former teammates of Fabregas from the Manchester side have also had their say in this transfer saga with David de Gea and Robin van Persie stating that they would welcome Fabregas to the club if he were to decide to join the side from Old Trafford.
David Moyes will be hoping David de Gea can be a little more persuasive with Fabregas than he was with Thiago Alcantara, despite the efforts he went to including writing on the match ball Thiago received for his hat-trick in the U-21’s European Championship final, “Nos vemos en Manchester” which translates as “See you in Manchester”. Unfortunately for de Gea and the rest of the club, they won’t be.
As it stands, it looks as if Fabregas will be staying at the Camp Nou and Moyes will have to look elsewhere for the midfielder that the fans and he desires. Moyes’ former player, Marouane Fellaini, has been mentioned within the press as a possible target if they fail in their attempts to lure Fabregas away from Barca.
Whether Manchester United come in with a 3rd bid for Fabregas is yet to be seen, however, you can expect this saga to carry on for another week or two.
The chase of Cesc Fabregas has been different to any other that the Manchester side has been involved in such as the Eden Hazard and Alexis Sanchez sagas. The way in which it has been different is that under Ferguson, United never admitted to submitting transfer bids for players, they waited until the transfer was done. Then the images of the players arriving at the Bridgewater Hospital for their medical would be shown on Sky Sports News and Twitter.
Now, under Moyes, it would appear that they are much more open to admitting their interest in players and that they have placed bids. Whether this will be a sign of the way Moyes and new chief-executive, Ed Woodward, go about their business is yet to be seen, but it’s a change from the Ferguson and Gill days.