José Mourinho interested inCesc Fábregas as Chelseaapproach Barça

By 07:09 Sat, 07 Jun 2014 Comments

Chelsea have opened formal negotiations with

Barcelona over the potential signing of Cesc Fábregas,

and, while no fee has as yet been agreed for the Spain

international midfielder, there is optimism on both

sides that a deal will soon be struck.

Fábregas is resigned to leaving the Camp Nou after

three seasons back at the Catalan club and is available

for £30m, with Barça intent on prising Koke from

Atlético Madrid to kickstart Luis Enrique’s tenure as

their new manager. With Arsenal having indicated they

will not take up their option to re-sign their former

captain, and Manchester City, Manchester United and

Liverpool having prioritised strengthening other areas

of their teams, the 27-year-old’s desire to return to

the Premier League can only be satisfied with a move

to Stamford Bridge.

The Chelsea manager, José Mourinho, has confirmed

his interest in securing Fábregas and has

acknowledged that he is seeking a transfer back to

England, where he made his name over eight seasons at

Arsenal. The Portuguese has already lost one

midfielder after Frank Lampard’s departure under

freedom of contract. “We have some interest [in

Fábregas],” said Mourinho. “I have interest in analysing

the situation.

“I think it looks like he’s really interested in leaving

Barcelona and is very, very interested in coming back

to England. This, I think, is clear. There is a process

where he wants to leave, [and] he wants to come to

England because it’s the country where he wants to

be, where he prefers to play. We are interested in

monitoring the situation.”

The midfielder is currently preparing for the World

Cup with the Spain squad in Washington, where they

play El Salvador on Saturday before travelling to

Brazil 24 hours later. He would ideally like his future

to be determined before the national team begin their

defence of the trophy against Holland on 13 June. A

firm bid from Chelsea would force Arsenal to

reiterate that they do not wish to take up their option

but, while Fábregas is disappointed his former club are

not keen to pursue his signature, he is open to a return

to London despite previously enduring a rather

fractious relationship with Mourinho.

The deal appears relatively easily resolved given the

player’s availability. Indeed, Fernando Torres, who is

also in the Spain squad, believes his national team-

mate would become a “leader” in the dressing room at

Stamford Bridge with Lampard’s departure, along with

that of Ashley Cole this summer, creating a void.

“Would Cesc be a great signing? Great players are

always great signings,” said Torres. “He’s a type of

player Chelsea don’t have now. Cesc knows the Premier

League, he can add football, possession, goals if he

feels important. He can be a leader, like he was at


Mourinho is close to agreeing the £32m signing of the

Atlético striker Diego Costa, with the Brazil-born

Spain international having passed a medical organised

by Chelsea, and hope to follow that with the signing of

his team-mate, Filipe Luis, to replace Cole at left-

back. The veteran heard the news he was to be

released after the club made a phone call to his agent

and Mourinho has admitted that he has not yet spoken

to the player, who is a little surprised at the way his

departure has been handled after eight years' service.

"With Lampard, I spoke a couple of weeks before the

end of the league," Mourinho said. "With Ashley, I

didn't have that chance. And different situations. I

want to see what is going on, what is going to happen. I

need to. But I will speak to him."

Cole was the controversial omission from Roy

Hodgson's England squad for the World Cup finals,

with the England manager taking into account his lack

of regular football for Chelsea over the season. With

Cesar Azpilicueta in fine form, Mourinho often found

that he could not work a space for Cole. "I have no

regrets because I don't work for the national team,"

Mourinho said, with regard to Cole's World Cup

exclusion. "I work for Chelsea and the decisions I

make, I always make thinking about the club, the team

and the players come after. In the last part of the

season, Cole showed how good he is because he had to

play a Champions League semi-final against Atletico

Madrid after not playing for a very long time. He

played with great stability to the team.

"After that, I keep him in the team and I push him to

get a World Cup position. He played really well. Mr

Hodgson could easily see he was in perfect condition.

After that comes the option and it's an option I

respect. He can choose who he wants and he chose

[Leighton] Baines and [Luke] Shaw. It is his decision

and not a single criticism of that. But Ashley was in

condition to play."



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