After four and a half years at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea’s FA Cup game against Nottingham Forest on Saturday could be a final appearance in the blue shirt for Cesc Fabregas. The Spanish midfielder’s contract is up at the end of the season, and it seems Chelsea are willing to let him go before it expires.
That would appear to go against the wishes of Blues manager Maurizio Sarri, who’s said that he wants to keep Fabregas until the end of the campaign:
“I want him to stay, I don’t know the final decision of Cesc and the club of course. But for me it’s very important and if Cesc will go I think that we need to buy another player, and it’s not easy because, technically, Cesc is a very important player.”
However, Fabregas looks to have decided that sitting on the bench is not something he wants to do at his age. The playmaker turns 32 in May, and is Jorginho’s understudy in Sarri’s starting XI. The Italian boss wants a technically proficient passer in central midfield, with runners either side.
Fabregas cannot fulfil one of those wider roles, limiting him to substitute and cup appearances. Although he’s entering the twilight of his career, he’s far too good for that role, and there are plenty of suitors for his services.
Plenty of big names have been linked with a move, including the likes of AC Milan and Valencia. However, the frontrunners now appear to be Monaco. The principality club are managed by Fabregas’s former team mate at Arsenal, Thierry Henry.
The Ligue 1 outfit are having a nightmare this season. They’re languishing down in 19th place, firmly in a relegation battle. Four points from safety, Henry’s arrival has done little to inspire an upturn in form following the sacking of Leonardo Jardim.
Introducing a touch of class into the heart of midfield could be the answer for Henry and his struggling side. Fabregas has never been involved in a relegation battle before, but his technical ability would see him head and shoulders above not only the other teams down in the doldrums, but also much higher up the league.
Before Christmas, Fabregas was 8/1 to move to Monaco. Now, bookmakers have slashed the odds to 1/6. That would seem to suggest there’s a huge probability the move’s going ahead, but you never know with football transfers. Could Sarri get his wish and persuade Fabregas to stay until the end of the season? Or will one of the other clubs linked come in with a bigger offer than Monaco? It won’t be long until we find out.