Tricky times ahead for Emirates Stadium boss.
Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas close to £35 million move to European champions Barcelona
Barcelona and Arsenal were locked in talks on Wednesday over Cesc Fabregas, with the European champions increasingly confident they can agree a deal worth around £35 million, while Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy could both be heading out of the Emirates up to Manchester.
Although a new Fabregas bid was not formally tabled, Barcelona were back in contact with Arsenal following their rejection last week of a £27 million offer. The talks on Wedneday were understood to be productive and, while there remains some difference in the valuations, there is a mounting sense that this most protracted transfer saga is finally nearing an end. Barcelona have increased their valuation of Fabregas to almost £35 million, with Arsenal believed to be holding out for a deal that, with add-ons, they can present to their fans as more like £40 million.
Nasri and Clichy could also be following Fabregas out of the Emirates. Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson believes that a £20 million bid could be enough to lure Nasri. Despite Arsène Wenger’s insistence earlier this month that, “one thing’s for sure: we’re not selling him [Nasri] to Manchester United”, Ferguson has become encouraged by his chances of landing the French international.
Manchester City are monitoring Nasri’s situation, with the player listed as a secondary target, but are ready to bid £7 million for defender Clichy.
SOURCE: Daily Telegraph
Arsene Wenger faces a difficult couple of weeks as the Emirates Stadium boss looks to keep his top performers from leaving the club this summer. The Arsenal boss was always going to struggle to appease members of his first team after a sixth successive season without silverware and the fact that the North London side slipped to fourth spot behind Man City will have been especially painful for the Frenchman to take, not least as it followed his ill advised statement that ‘finishing second would be no disaster’.
Cesc Fabregas looks more and more likely to leave for Barcelona after Arsenal made it clear that there was a price on the Gunners captain’s head rather than adopting the strategy of last term when they stated that no offers would be accepted by the 24 year old Spanish international.
Pep Guardiola is now looking to scrape money together to make an offer of £35m which is nearing the figure Arsenal will take for a player who appears adamant about a return back to Catalonia.
Arsenal will then face the repercussions of such a sale, which could be deemed to lack ambition, and that may lead to Samir Nasri calling for a move. The Frenchman was one of the club’s few top performers from last season, with Robin Van Persie and Jack Wilshere being the only real plusses from a horrid campaign, but now the former Marseille man has just a year to run on his current deal and though Wenger says he won’t sell to Man United, he will also not want a repeat of the Mathieu Flamini saga and will surely wish to avoid losing such a talented player for nothing next summer.
Sir Alex Ferguson is keen to add another top signing having brought in Phil Jones from Blackburn Rovers, Ashley Young from Aston Villa and David de Gea from Atletico Madrid. The Old Trafford boss is looking to add more creativity to his midfield as well as more of a goal threat from an area that sees the likes of Darren Fletcher, Anderson, Darron Gibson and Michael Carrick struggling to link midfield to attack with an end product.
Ferguson’s pursuit of Nasri would surely to play him in an advanced central role because clearly the Premier League champions don’t need any more wingers. The Arsenal man is said to much prefer a floating playmaker role to being plied out wide, which is where he has spent much of his Gunners career.
Gael Clichy appears to be a player Wenger has no qualms about offloading but will again not want the contract rebel to leave for Premier League rivals. Liverpool are also said to be keen on the 25 year old but Man City’s interest will be more tempting to the Frenchman given that Roberto Mancini can now offer Champions League football to any prospective new signing.
Wenger does however want to sell Sebastien Squillaci, who had an awful first season in England, Denilson, who has seen his career dip after a very average couple of years. Nicklas Bendtner will also be sacrificed as the big Dane has consistently failed to make an impact. Manuel Almunia will be sold after another clanger prone term and offers for Abou Diaby may also be considered.