“He (Fabregas) is valued and respected a lot more in England than in Spain, where he has never played. If you talk about Fabregas in England, then you are talking about one of the best three players in the League. He would do okay in Barcelona, but I repeat, that it is very difficult to improve that team.”
So says the £50 million striker who is, coincidentally, also finding it difficult to bring any improvement to his new team.
Fernando Torres is warning compatriot Cesc Fabregas to avoid a move to Barcelona, for fear that the Arsenal captain would become an also-ran in an already crowded midfield containing the likes of Xavi, Iniesta and Busquets.
Oops, I forgot Javi Mascherano. Then again, everybody does.
Fabregas is Available on Discount
Barcelona president Sandro Rossell is also keen to talk about Fabregas, subject to some stringent conditions.
“We can talk about it, but Barca will not pay €50 million for Cesc...In football, prices are reduced each year and, if we offered Arsenal €40 million for Cesc last summer, €50 million is now impossible.”
Yes, nowadays a footballer devalues much earlier in life. Torres might have been worth £50 million when he was 26. Now he’s 27, and is worth a short-term loan deal at best.
That being said, it seems that Rossell’s Jedi mind tricks are having little sway over the Arsenal hierarchy, who expect a cool £45 million at the very least.
Manager Arsene Wenger can expect to see a grand total of £5 million of that transfer fee, with which he will try to purchase a hot teenage prospect from Southampton, while signing an aging French defender for nothing. That is, in fact, the default Arsenal transfer policy.
My Super Ex-Captain
Speaking of aging French defenders, former Arsenal captain Williams Gallas has signed a new two-year deal at Tottenham Hotspur.
Gallas may have wept uncontrollably on the pitch at St. Andrews, but he and the Spurs legion of crybabies will play Real Madrid in the UCL quarter final next week, while Arsenal fans experience a similarly uncontrollable reaction to watching Sebastian Squillaci gift random relegation-threatened teams a couple of points.
You Don't Know Jack
That brings us nicely to another reason for Arsene Wenger to lose his marbles. The FA and Stuart Pearce have expressed their intention to name Jack Wilshere in the England side for the Under-21 European Championship, which begins eight days after England’s last senior game of the season against Switzerland.
Wilshere has also made it clear that he wants in, so Wenger might just have to grit his teeth and bear the possibility of his starlet getting injured in a tournament that claimed one Theo Walcott as its victim in 2009.
On the upside, they already have an excuse to not win anything in 2011-12!