Arsenal fans deserve respect, the respect I am talking about is from our captain Cesc Fabregas. Everyone knows his club as a child was Barcelona, but he of his own free will left them when he was 16 years old to join Arsenal. He and his family made the decision that his career will flourish at Arsenal rather than at the Nou Camp.
Arsene Wenger took Cesc under his wing and nurtured him, built a team around, sold his captain, Vieira, to allow Cesc to develop.
Arsenal fans took to this player, enjoyed his football, creativity, vision, scoring and when it was revealed that it was Cesc that threw the pizza at Ferguson a legend was born.
Cesc was given the captain’s armband, even though he was not a real captain, but became the Arsenal talisman, everything went through Fabregas.
Then the courting with his boyhood club started. Barcelona wanted “their” player back, a player that they did not make a strong enough attempt to keep when he left, but now he had developed into a world class player, they had second thoughts. Fabregas, at first, remained silent on the matter, but soon his representatives were leaking stories of his desire to leave. The most embarrassing picture was Fabregas being made to wear a Barcelona shirt during the Spain World Cup celebrations. Cesc pushed the issue to its limited by asking Wenger to let him leave, but Arsene was not prepared to let his captain, talisman and prodigy leave.
Reluctantly Cesc stayed at the Emirates last summer for one more season. The season was a mixed one for Cesc, injured for large parts of it, the highlight being the 2-1 victory over Barcelona, but in the return leg, we saw Cecs sharing jokes, handshakes and hugs with Barca players before the game and it was his flippant flick that allowed Barcelona to break the deadlock just before half-time.
The season over, Barcelona proclaimed that Cesc was not a target for them this summer and they only had a budget of £30M to spend on players. Relax, Arsenal fans thought, but Barcelona started to leak stories in the press of Cesc wanting to join them, the usual suspect Pique and Xavi started to release stories of Cesc’s desire to join Barcelona and then the club made an offer £26M for our captain.
Cesc has remained silent in all this, except to make a stupid comment that if the club (Arsenal) are prepared to sell him, then he is no longer wanted. Cesc has since declared himself “injured” and has missed our pre-season games and will also miss our Emirates Cup tournament this week-end.
Barcelona meanwhile, refuse to increase their offer. Their logic is that why pay more for a player that was theirs 8 years ago.
Arsenal have rightly dug their heels in and want the full asking price or Cesc stays.
What Arsenal fans want to hear from Cesc is a statement of truth. Tell us that he loves Arsenal, but Barcelona are his boyhood team and his dream is to play for them, if the two clubs agree on a fee then he will leave Arsenal, but until that happens he is focused on playing for Arsenal and he looks forward to a successful season at Arsenal.
Instead we have our captain sulking, hiding behind a phoney injury and refusing to play for the club that is paying his wages. He is showing complete disrespect to his fellow team-mates, to Arsene Wenger, to Arsenal FC and to the fans. If Cesc does not leave this summer, he should be stripped of the captaincy and be made to apologise to the fans for his behaviour.
The pre-season tour to the Far East is over and we are entering the transfer season. Wenger told us that clubs will wait until the end of the month to make their moves and Wenger will be one of those. Ivan Gazidis said he spent the week in the Far East to discuss Arsenal’s transfer strategy with the boss.
The worst kept secret is out, Arsenal are going to discuss the transfer of Cesc Fabregas with Barcelona. Pep Guardiolla has gone public on this and unlike Mancini’s courting of Nasri; Wenger has remained silent, which implies that Cesc is on the move. The two clubs are not a million miles apart on valuation and a deal will be struck this week at around £35M plus either performance related payments or Eric Abidal.
This £35M will give Arsene plenty of money to play the field with, plus with Cesc gone and his £110K a week salary, no doubt Wenger can use this money to entice Nasri into signing a new deal. It is already reported today that Arsenal will offer Nasri £120K a week.
Over the week-end a story broke that Arsenal were about to sign a 19 year-old Costa Rica striker Joel Campbell. A fee was agreed with the club, a five year deal agreed with the player and a medical set-up. Then the player, on advice from his father does not turn-up as another club had made a better offer. This was the second South American / Central American deal masterminded by Arsenal executive Richard Law to fall flat. We all remember how we had a done deal with Ricardo Alvarez, only to see him sign for Inter Milan. It must be so frustrating for Wenger to see two deals collapse after we had made all the running. Do we question the ability of Richard Law to clinch the deals?
Rumours out of nowhere have now linked us with a blast from the past, Franck Ribery. It has been reported that we are in advance negotiations with Bayern over a potential £22M transfer. Ribery is 28 years-old and has been beset with injuries over the last 3 years, so in that respect he is ideal for Arsenal as none of our players go through a season without two or three lengthy lay-offs. He scores goals and is also a creator of goals for Bayern, but will Wenger spend £22M on a player who is injury prone and has no sell-on value? On the other hand if Arsenal wanted to make a statement of intent, then Ribery is the man. He would take over from Nasri on the wing allowing Samir to play in the “hole” as the playmaker.
Now that Wenger and Gazidis are back in England, perhaps their attention will be focused on recruiting a centre-half or two. Samba was supposed to be wrapped up earlier in June, yet it appears we have not even made an enquiry. Blackburn Rovers have financial difficulties so a £10M bid would be accepted. Cahill who we should have bought last summer is the other centre-back target. Again it is amazing that we have not contacted Bolton over Cahill. It is time to stop pretending all is okay in the world of the Arsenal defence and make a the move, either Cahill or Samba or potentially both. The money will come in from the Fabregas sale, plus our “substantial resources” so what is the problem?
The next ten days promises to be a real roller-coaster ride for Arsenal fans as players are linked to us and Wenger keeps his cards close to his chest, but sooner rather than later he will have to make a move.
Fabregas is threatening to do an Anelka and go on strike if Arsenal do not agree to sell him to Barcelona. The words did not come from Cesc but from one of his entourage and reported in the Catalan press.
Despite Cesc’s protestations that he is happy at Arsenal and any move will be up to Wenger to decide, clearly he is lying and if he refused to return to training then he will join the likes of Anelka in the list of hated ex-Arsenal players.
This will be a shame and a sorry end to his career at Arsenal, a club that signed him at 16, and gave him the stage upon which to display his talents. Remember Arsenal sold Vieira to allow Cesc the freedom of midfield, a period of time that has coincided with our drought of trophies.
Cesc is putting Wenger, supposedly his mentor, into a position in which we will have to accept a fee of around £30M. Wenger and Arsenal should make it clear to Cesc and Barcelona that we have a valuation for Fabregas and that value must be met, be it cash and players or straight cash. If Cesc does not accept this then he needs to hand in a transfer request and stop hiding comments which clearly are just lies.
Arsenal Football Club have survived the departure of greater players than Cesc, players who have left with dignity.
The annual Fabregas to Barcelona saga is full swing, but there is a difference. Barcelona are not prepared to pay anything near Cesc’s true value.
Barcelona kicked off the Cesc transfer with a plea of poverty; they only have £45M to spend on all transfer activities. This was directed at the Arsenal board, because whilst the Catalan outfit pleased poverty to Arsenal, they were busy trying to sign Rossi from Villarreal for £40M, Alexis Sanchez from Udinese for £35M and now David Luiz from Chelsea for £25M.
A new tactic from Barcelona is stating that as Cesc is a year older, his value has dropped! This might be the case if a player was approaching 30, but Cesc is just coming into his prime.
Barcelona have also got their PR machine into operation stating that Fabregas wants to leave Arsenal and join Barcelona.
Our beloved Chairman has entered the fray to say that Barcelona have made contact with Arsenal over the potential transfer of Fabregas.
All omens are there for a transfer of our captain, more importantly our manager has remained relatively quiet over the matter. Turn back the clock to the annual pursuits of Vieira and Henry, every summer Wenger would bombard the press that they are not for sale, as he has done in the past for Fabregas. The only summers that Wenger was quiet on the matters was when Vieira was on a plane Juventus bound and Henry had agreed terms with Barcelona in a London hotel.
This summer we have the same silence from Wenger, so it is only a matter of time and money. Barcelona need to do the honourable thing and pay Arsenal the going rate for Fabregas and take back to the Nou Camp.