Arsenal’s Buy-Back Clause Disputed Leaving United Favourites To Land €40m Fabregas
Arsenal do not have a first option buy-back clause in Cesc Fabregas’s contract and Barcelona are ready to sell the Man Utd and Chelsea target for €40million.
As we approach the opening of the summer window clubs will be intensifying their efforts in the transfer market so we’ll bring you all the latest news and gossip. Today, there are some interesting developments on the future of Cesc Fabregas.
Arsenal do not have a first option buy-back clause in Cesc Fabregas’s contract and Barcelona are ready to sell the Manchester United and Chelsea target for €40m this summer; that’s according to Spanish journalist Guillem Balague.
Fabregas spent eight years with Arsenal having joined them as a 16-year-old in 2003 and went on to make over 300 appearances for the first team before sealing a ‘dream’ €35m move back to his boyhood club in 2011.
However, his time back to the Nou Camp hasn’t been the fairy-tail he had hoped for. While he’s racked up over 150 appearances for Barca over the past three years, he’s never really established himself as a vital member of the first team and has been overlooked for many of the key games over the years.
Even when he has been picked, Cesc has rarely played in his favoured ‘quarter-back’ role and despite scoring an impressive 13 goals and providing 16 assists last season, he was singled out for some rough treatment by his own fans at times, with the worst incident occurring during a 2-1 victory over Athletic Bilbao when Fabregas was booed off the pitch.
Speculation in recent months has linked the 27-year-old with a move back to England with Manchester United strongly linked after failing to land him last summer, but it’s Arsenal who have so far been considered the early favourites this time around with the Gunners understood to have been exploring the possibility of activating a first option buy-back clause that they apparently insisted on including in the players contract when he was sold three years ago.
However, well known Spanish journalist Guillem Balague has a very different take on things. Writing in his column for Bleacher Report today, he claims that no such buy-back clause exists and that Arsenal do NOT have first option to re-sign Fabregas.
Balague does confirm that Barcelona are ready to cash-in on the midfielder and will sell if someone triggers a buy-out clause which he believes is set at €40m. The journalist claims that Chelsea are also interested in bringing Fabregas back to England, but suggests that it is in fact Man Utd who are currently leading the race for the players signature, not Arsenal.
It’s sensational stuff from Balague but his story doesn’t really add up. Firstly, his claim that Arsenal don’t have a buy-back clause directly contradicts what Arsene Wenger said last summer. When asked about the chances of Fabregas leaving Barcelona back in July 2013, Wenger said he’d been told the midfielder had decided to stay another season in Spain and confirmed they have a clause in the players contract.
“Fabregas has decided to stay one more year at Barcelona,”
“He has changed his mind. I don’t know. But that’s what I have been told. We have the clause in his contract so we would be on alert but at the moment that’s not something we are after.” Wenger is quoted as saying by Eurosport
Also, Fabregas has previously admitted that the only two clubs he can see himself playing for is Arsenal and Barcelona, and he even hinted at a return to North London one day if he leaves the Nou Camp. Fabregas told Sky Sports:
“Apart from Arsenal and Barcelona, I don’t see myself playing anywhere else,” he said.
“I will definitely be going back (to Arsenal) whenever I have time to watch games and to see the guys, and you never know in the future, why not?
“I hope I will stay here (Barcelona) for a very long time, and maybe even retire here, but why not? In life, you can never say never, and if there is one place to go back to, it is Arsenal for sure.”
Obviously things can change over time, but Fabregas has never given any indication that he’d be willing to play for one of Arsenal’s direct rivals and has only ever said he’d love to return to the Emirates if he was ever to leave Barca.
That, combined with Arsene Wenger’s comments about the buy-back clause, suggests that Arsenal remain in the driving seat to -re-sign the midfielder if he is in fact available for transfer this summer.
Of course, Wenger may decide he doesn’t want to re-sign his former protege. After all, a ball-playing midfielder is hardly top of the Frenchman’s agenda this summer, in which case United, or even Chelsea, could very-much be in the running for his signature. But until Arsene rules himself out of the running, my money would still be on a return to Arsenal should Cesc leave Barca.
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