Cesc Fabregas : The Saga Continues

Cesc Fabregas to Barcelona. It is, predictably, on everybody's lips. Seemingly every man, woman, and child with any interest in football has an opinion on the matter. Football writers and pundits are writing story after story, rehashing the same points over and over again.

If one were to spend even just 15 minutes reading the speculation, he would assume that Fabregas was already signed, sealed, and delivered to Barcelona. Clearly, Arsenal wants to hold on to Fabregas. He is their captain, their talisman, and he exemplifies the philosophy of the club more than any other player. However, if they do indeed sell him, they will surely drive the fee up and up.

Barcelona are a little bit harder to read. On the one hand, they seem to be desperate to sign him, given some of the news stories out. At the same time, they have, apparently, not yet made a formal approach for him. There is little doubt that Barcelona would like to sign Fabregas, but are they truly as desperate as it appears?

When it comes to Fabregas, there are only a handful of facts. He is Arsenal's captain, he loves Arsenal, is under a long-term contract there, and will one day return to Barcelona. Further, he has recently said that he wants his future sorted out before the World Cup.

When you read through all of the speculation and rumuors, that translates to the hysteria that Fabregas is certainly moving to Barcelona this summer. Unfortunately, agreeing a fee, particularly when Barcelona have already spent millions on Villa, is quite possibly the most difficult part of the transfer.

In the modern era, if a footballer wishes to leave a club, they cannot stop him. While this might be true in some cases but not all. When Joleon Lescott decided he wanted to leave Everton, they at first refused. They were only forced to sell when he decided to act like a petulant child. Once Everton saw that he would be worthless to them if they kept him, they sold him to Manchester City.

It is hard to imagine Fabregas doing something similar. Admittedly, we know very little about Fabregas as a man, but from what glimpses we have seen, his character appears to be sterling. If Arsenal informed him that he would not be sold to Barcelona, what would be his reaction? If he truly wanted to go, then surely he would be disappointed, but he has always carried himself as a professional. It is hard to imagine him not continuing to fight for the club.

So, in the end, what we have is still nothing but speculation. This is not to say that Fabregas is staying at Arsenal. It is also not to say that he will move.

Staying Factor: Loyalty
Wenger transformed a 16-year-old Fabregas into an exceptional talent, providing the Catalan with the perfect environment in which to develop and entrusting him with responsibilities out of all proportion with his experience - first when allowing him to marshal the midfield as a teenager, and secondly when handing him the captaincy at the age of 21. There is no denying that Arsene Wenger transformed him to who he is right now, a world class midfielder.

Leaving Factor: Accomplishment
But for a player like Fabregas, mere qualification is not enough, not when the club of his heart are playing the finest football on the globe, winning a succession of trophies and making history. It appears his "love" for Arsenal has waned, and the flirtation period with Barca has begun. It is an attraction he cannot resist.

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