Why Fabregas could return to Arsenal, Cole to quit Chelsea?
Former Gunners said to be unhappy at at Barcelona and Chelsea
IT’S THE NEWS every Arsenal fan has been longing to hear. No, Robin van Persie hasn’t pulled a hamstring in training - but Cesc Fabregas might be pulling out of Barcelona and returning to his spiritual home of the Emirates.
Talksport dropped the bombshell, claiming the silky-skilled Spaniard has “opened the door to an Arsenal return" after admitting he's unhappy being a bit-part player at Barcelona.
The former Gunners captain moved to the Camp Nou in the summer of 2011 although unlike certain other unscrupulous former skippers he didn’t walk out on Arsene Wenger for money. Fabregas left to better himself as a player but now it appears the Catalan craftsman realises he’d be more fulfilled at a club that appreciates him.
Under new Barca coach Tito Vilanova, Fabregas has yet to play a full 90 minutes this season. Asked about life as a sub he replied: "I always wish my team-mates well and put a happy face on. If I have to take my unhappy face home then so be it, but I would never let my team-mates or manager see it… but I came here to compete, to learn and enjoy, not to sit wracking my brains.”
Although Fabregas admitted he was “delighted” to be at Barcelona he ended his interview with Spanish rag Marca with a statement shrouded in ambiguity: "I will keep going, looking forward to the time that things change.” Whether the change involves his status within Barcelona or a new club altogether, or whether it could really see him back at the Emirates, is the great unknown.
Another former Arsenal star who is less than happy with his lot is Ashley Cole, according to The Sun. The 31-year-old full back is said to be furious after he was only offered a one-year extension to his contract at Chelsea.
Transfer Talk hopes he wasn't behind the wheel of his car when news of the snub came through. In his autobiography Cole told how he almost veered off the road when he discovered that Arsenal were only prepared to pay him £55,000 a week. On that occasion he chose to leave the Gunners and throw in his lot with the Blues.
If he decides that he has had enough of life at Chelsea the Sun says he could rejoin his old boss Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid or throw in his lot with Paris St Germain or Zenit St Petersburg.
To make matters worse for Chelsea he could quit Stamford Bridge for free as his current contract expires at the end of the season.
Elsewhere, the Metro claims Chelsea and Manchester City are both “on alert” for a January swoop on Radamel Falaco. The 26-year-old Colombia hitman has bagged 42 goals in 53 matches for Atletico Madrid since moving to Spain from Porto last year.
The deadeye marksman also struck a hat-trick against Chelsea last week, albeit in the utterly pointless Uefa Super Cup. As a result the Blues are desperate to sign the South American, but so apparently are City, and that’s got tongues wagging in the Falaco family.
“Might he move to England in the next transfer window?” Falaco senior said of his son. “Yes, that chance is very big.”
It’s rumoured that the striker would cost any buyer in excess of £50m but Mr Falcao was keeping his cards close to his chest when asked about money. “I do not want to talk about contracts, moreover we don't want to talk about money either.”
Talksport claims that Nani is next on Zenit St Petersburg’s shopping list. Having just forked out £65m on Porto frontman Hulk and Benfica midfielder Axel Witsel, the rich Russians are eyeing up the Manchester United winger.
Apparently Zenit boss Luciano Spalletti is “keen” to land Nani and is hoping to exploit the Portugal star’s alleged unhappiness at his reduced status within Old Trafford. The 25-year-old has lost his place in the starting line-up following United’s defeat to Everton on the opening day of the season and Talksport speculates that Zenit might make a late bid for Nani before their transfer window closes this evening.
Still with United and the club have confirmed on their website that they’ve completed the signing of Chilean striker Angelo Henriquez from Universidad de Chile for an undisclosed fee. The 18-year-old forward is highly regarded in South American circles having scored 11 goals in 17 appearances this year, and Alex Ferguson was in uncharacteristically ebullient form in praising the teenager’s talent.
“His pace is a great asset and he reads the game really well for someone of such a young age,” said Ferguson. “Angelo fits the profile of a United player – skillful, attacking and someone who plays the game with real flair.”