Well, maybe it's not all just gas - it could really be Fabregas. Moving on quickly from that attempt, maybe there is some substance behind the smoke after all - David Moyes has confirmed that Manchester United have made a bid for Cesc Fabregas, and hinted that the Chief Executive Ed Woodward had flown back from the tour to take care of this transfer, among other things.
"The chief executive [Woodward] has been dealing with it," said Moyes. "I may have a bit more information in the next day or so about how it's going."
Almost immediately, however, there was a report in a Spanish paper that tried to dampen red spirits. The statement was attributed to the Catalan club's vice president, and quoted him saying:
'Barcelona can assure [fans] we wont listen to any offers for Cesc. It is totally ruled out, he's not for sale.'
However, with the number of reports coming in and with Moyes' very public admission of chasing Cesc, a deal could be imminent. Of course, it's equally likely that we're going to end up with egg on our faces by the weekend. In any case, the following can be understood:
- An initial bid was indeed made. Reports place this at the 30M Euro mark. This would be in line with popular valuations of the player.
- That indicates that United are willing to go higher, which might lure Barca into selling a player they may otherwise not. It's a tempting offer for the Catalans, for sure.
- United have been encouraged by the response, at least enough for their CEO to fly down from the tour - it's worth noting that Woodward was the brain behind our sponsorship revenue streams and would have probably loved to stay on - and were probably told to include a sweetener (10M should do nicely, or perhaps a shiny Da Silva twin? An Uruguayan left back maybe? Chris Smalling?).
- Cesc, if initial reports are to be believed, will move if Barca indicate they might sell him. This is in line with Barca being his boyhood club - once the albatross of "abandoning the club" goes away we might see a different line from the player.
- Cesc will also know points 1-3, and Barca are bound to act quickly and publicly to resolve this issue.
When Pep Guardiola came out and said he would like to sign Thiago, most United fans went into meltdown - it's only fair that they get their hopes up now! Expect developments on this issue shortly - with a public admission from the manager things may just start moving at a faster pace.