Some bad news for David Moyes, but good news for Barcelona fans, in that new Barca manager Gerardo Martino has told the Man United boss unequivocally that Cesc Fabregas is not for sale.
Martino said at a press conference this morning: ‘Man United want Cesc? If the club rejected two offers, I will reject it a third time. Cesc will be here.’
The Daily Mail reported that Barca vice president Josep Maria Bartomeu had weighed in too adding: ‘It’s normal United are interested, it’s an honour, but we count on Cesc and we won’t sell, no matter the offer.’
If this ends the hunt for Fabregas by Moyes then several papers are saying that he will switch his attention to offering a huge bid for Christiano Ronaldo.
From Arsenal’s perspective this begs the questions where does it leave the club in their hunt for a midfielder?
There’s an interesting post on Squawka today which analyses Arsenal’s midfield. It points to the way that Arteta has taken on a holding role, but that he isn’t a traditional stopper in the way that say Song and Gilberto were for Arsenal. While the Squawka team suggests that Arsenal don’t necessarily need to invest in an old school type of defensive midfielder it does say that their centre is lacking a degree of presence. Most of the players, Wilshere, Cazorla, Rosicky etc are either under six foot or are slight of build. The article argues that what Arsenal need more than anything in the centre of the park is a degree of presence. And what could give you more presence in the midfield than a six foot plus tall Belgian with an Afro.
As has been well documented Fellaini has a release clause tied into his contract at Goodison Park of £22 million that expires on July 31st. That gives Wenger less than a week to make his mind up about the Belgian. With Fabregas out of the picture for both teams (assuming that Arsenal might have tried to intervene and sign the player if United had been successful in their bid, which some Arsenal bloggers have suggested been the reason why the club haven’t signed a midfielder) Fellaini could become a priority.
Arsenal have the resources to invest in the player. United have too, but then if they are ramping up for a Ronaldo bid they might find that money is needed elsewhere. And United aren’t exactly short of midfield power either. This one could get very interesting in the next few days.