Time for Manchester United to snag Cesc Fabregas 0

Mention Cesc Fabregas’ name to Manchester United fans, and they’ll likely have horrible memories of last Summer and of their club being used as leverage during the squad-status spat between the Spanish international and Barcelona.

This Summer, though, it would probably be different.

Marca are reporting that Fabregas is now very much for sale and that the former Arsenal midfielder is one of a number of first-team players at Camp Nou marked for the exit door.  No, Marca’s reputation for gossip isn’t the best, but Fabregas’ availability has been confirmed by other sources too, including the usually very reliable Guillem Balague.

Manchester United have a lot to do before the start of this season, and the priority for Louis Van Gaal when he begins his new job will be clearly be the centre of defence.  Forward line and goalkeeper aside, the Dutchman has inherited a squad full of holes and will have to be very active in the market if he’s going to make his new side competitive next season.

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Fabregas is perfect; forgetting his availability, his proficiency in a number of a midfield roles - and not in an underwhelming Tom Cleverley way - would make him a great starting point to the rebuild.  During his time back in Spain we’ve got used to seeing him play a more advanced role, and even as a forward on occasion, but his best position is unquestionably the one he occupied for Arsenal during the early part of his career.  Him as the intermediary between the defensive and attacking parts of the midfield?  How much of an upgrade would that be on Marouane Fellaini?  Take out the lumbering Belgian, and replace him with a player with first-rate technique, a good feel for the rhythm of the game around him, and a creative passing range, and this team would immediately move up in classification.

Fabregas is not a holding player by any stretch, but he is a complete enough footballer to be an asset both with and without the ball - and that’s really the kind of midfielder United require, because it’s that part of their midfield which has been the most problematic in recent seasons.

Marca claim that Barca are looking for something close to €40m for Fabregas, and given that he’s still only 27 that actually represents very good value - especially so given that we know he’s capable of performing within a Premier League environment.

It would make a lot of sense.

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