EXCLUSIVE: The Spain international’s dream move back to Catalonia has not gone to plan and Barca are willing to offload the midfielder at the end of the season
Barcelona will listen to offers for Cesc Fabregas this summer, Goal understands.
The Barca academy graduate is at a crossroads in his career and enters the final two years of his contract with the Catalan club in July.
Fabregas was jeered by home supporters during Barcelona’s recent 2-1 home victory over Athletic Bilbao and has become a scapegoat for fans during some troubled times for the club on and off the pitch.
Goal has learned the Spanish giants are now open to the possibility of selling the versatile midfielder, who turns 27 on Sunday, at the end of the season.
The player himself is also said to be ready to consider the possibility of being lured from the club he returned to in 2011 after controversially leaving for Arsenal as a 16-year-old.
And there is a growing possibility the Spain international could return to the Premier League, where he made his name during eight highly-successful years with the Londoners.
The Gunners will explore the possibility of re-signing Fabregas, while he is also on the radar of Manchester United, who are looking to overhaul their midfield this summer.
Both Premier League clubs have been given informal indications that Fabregas could be available, although the player’s lengthy association with Barcelona and the politics involved with him leaving make a move extremely delicate.
United tabled two bids for Fabregas last summer, when former manager David Moyes made no attempt to hide the club’s attempt to prise him from Camp Nou.
Arsenal also explored utilising the first-option clause inserted in Fabregas’ Barca contract, with Arsene Wenger understood to have talked on the phone “quite a bit” with his former skipper about returning to the club where he blossomed into one of Europe’s outstanding young midfielders.
Arsenal have a fixed price on Fabregas’ buy-back clause, believed to be €29 million (£23.8m), and, should another club make a concrete offer for the midfielder, Barca would be obliged to inform the Londoners, who would then be given first refusal.
Only Sergio Busquets (43) has started more than Fabregas’ 42 matches this season and his tally of 14 assists is the best at the club, while he has also weighed in with 13 goals.
However, Fabregas has often found himself on the bench for the marquee matches during the last three seasons or substituted when he starts the key games.
Even though Xavi is 34 and Andres Iniesta turns 30 next month, Barca are ready to consider the possibility of Fabregas leaving as they step up plans to add more pace to their midfield.
Barcelona were eliminated at the quarter-final stage of the Champions League, lost the Copa del Rey final to Real Madrid and currently sit second in La Liga, four points behind leaders Atletico with three matches remaining.