Arsenal and Real Madrid Prepare For Fabregas Battle

Real Madrid’s new president Ramon Calderon made the transfer of Cesc Fabregas from Arsenal to the Bernabeau part of his campaign promise and with Capello already on his way, Arsenal could be in for a massive bid for the young Spanish midfielder.

Both Arsenal and Fabregas have stated several times in the past year that the player has no intention of leaving Arsenal. In addition, Arsenal fans continue to cite Cesc’s love for the Gunners (and how Arsenal gave him a chance in the first-team when Barca wouldn’t) and are adamant that Fabregas would never leave Arsenal.

However, in an interview quite similar to Ronaldo’s, Marca appear to have Cesc’s agent Diaz on record saying that not only has Calderon been in contact with them but that he expects Madrid and Arsenal to sort things out in the next few days. No indication was given in the interview regarding where exactly Fabregas wanted to be (Arsenal or Madrid), apart from saying that “Real Madrid have come knocking at Cesc’s door” and “Cesc obviously thinks Real Madrid are a great team.”

Then there are rumours about Fabregas wanting to return to Spain to play there.

Is it that agents crave the limelight? Diaz is speaking about Fabregas’s future plans without having discussed them with him. He is, in fact, ‘playing to the crowd’ here. What Arsenal will be worried about is that no matter what you say about Madrid, you have to admit that when they go after their player, they usually get him. Zidane, Ronaldo, Figo, Beckham, Robinho…they could have had Ronaldinho if they hadn’t said no, and now they’ve got Capello as well.

Diaz Quotes In Marca

‘We had meetings before the elections and there would be no problems on our side, but now they have to speak to Arsenal and see what they say.’

‘We have always said we are very thankful to Arsenal. We would never try a dirty trick on Arsenal and whatever has to happen will happen.’

‘I don’t think Arsenal would want to let the player go for all the gold in the world and we’ll have to wait and see now.’

‘If the player wants to go to Real Madrid I don’t think the negotiations will take very long. The situation is not easy, but in life nothing is impossible.’

‘I can’t answer for Cesc because imagine if I say he wants to play for Real Madrid and he then has to stay at Arsenal or if I say he doesn’t want to play for Real Madrid and then he signs tomorrow…’

‘You have to be intelligent.’

‘It’s very difficult when the best team in the world comes knocking to say no.’

‘What’s obvious is that Real Madrid have come knocking at Cesc’s door and that Cesc obviously thinks Real Madrid are a great team.’

‘He has always said that he would like to return to Spain, but whether that will be this year, next year or in two years’ time, I don’t know.’

Does Cesc Fabregas want to go to Real Madrid?

Arsenal fans will place the blame either on the agent’s shoulders for trying to make a lot of money out of the move, or Marca for creating yet another story.

The problem with that approach is that Marca, especially with regard to such interviews, does not “make this shit up”. They got it right with Ronaldo, and with that sort of track record you would know for sure that Calderon HAS talked to the player / player’s agent and that Madrid will definitely be talking to Arsenal in the coming days over Cesc’s future.

Does Fabregas want to go to Real Madrid?

I really don’t know. I don’t want to hear Arsenal fans go on and on about how Fabregas loves Arsenal, because it wouldn’t be the first time a devoted player would jump ship if a big club came asking. You only have to look at Alan Smith and Wayne Rooney moving to United to see how the lure of playing for big clubs can change the minds of badge-kissing players who claim to support the club with heart and soul.

The difference between Arsenal and Real Madrid may not be as wide as that between United and Leeds / Everton, but if you throw in money, the chance to play in Spain and playing with players like Kaka, Casillas, Ramos, Raul, Beckham and Robinho and Madrid’s history of getting their targets and it all points to a tough battle ahead for Arsenal.

All will depend on whether Fabregas is tempted enough by Madrid to consider a move. If that happens…

On the upside, Arsenal would earn a lot of money from selling Cole and Fabregas, but replacing that sort of talent is next to impossible.

Ordinarily I would say there’s no chance of Fabregas moving to Madrid despite all the rumours and the Marca interview. The ‘family’ Wenger is rebuilding and the mess Madrid has been in since Del Bosque left has turned Madrid into football’s premier poisoned chalice.

However, Calderon may hold the key to reigniting Madrid’s potential. Capello’s arrival (which Calderon said would be confirmed by the end of the week) will change things, because after Del Bosque this would the first proven European manager coming to the Bernabeau. Capello’s track record with Madrid and Juventus will be enough to convince most players that things are changing at Real Madrid, and this will worry Arsenal.

So, will he go or will he stay? I don’t think so. Madrid have Diarra in their sights, and Capello and Kaka are their main targets anyway. Fabregas and Robben would be valuable additions but one gets the feeling Calderon tacked their names along to win the elections and while he would love to have them, they’re not terribly important to his plans.

More on Madrid’s potential summer signings in a few days.

[tags]Arsenal, Real Madrid, Fabregas, Ramon Calderon[/tags]

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