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Arsenal have no Fabregas first option, and United are favourites - Balague

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Guillem Balague claims that Manchester United are favourites in an impending race to sign former Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas, with £34m being the figure needed to prise him from Barcelona.

Julian Finney

He's back! Manchester United are apparently going to return for Cesc Fabregas this summer, as they will try to take advantage of the midfielder's £34m release clause ahead of interest from Arsenal.

Guillem Balague has made the claim, who has a notoriously hit-and-miss record with his views on Spanish transfers. He says that not only do Barcelona not appear to be too willing to give him a new contract which would remove the buyout clause, they'd be happy to sell at that price.

In other potentially interesting news, he also claims that the much-ballyhooed Arsenal buy-back clause is a thing of fiction, and that United will be favourites to land him due to their heavy financial advantage over the North Londoners.

Is it likely? We have no idea. Certainly everything has pointed to someone buying Fabregas being a possibility for over a year now. Whether that team will be United, of course, is another matter.

Would we like it? There are pros and cons. First, the cons: Fabregas has changed greatly since leaving the Premier League. He's not an all-action box-to-box midfielder and has been played all over the place up front, where he's struggled to be influential. Expecting him to return to the days of old would be a huge gamble.

Now, the pros: Fabregas, to Manchester United, snubbing Arsenal to play for us when we're not in the Champions League, joining Robin van Persie in the process. Now that would be hilarious.