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What to make of Fabregas bid?

For several weeks, the transfer of Thiago to United was reported as more or less a done deal. Despite David Moyes’ claims that the Barca player wasn’t a priority for United, we’ve been interested in signing him for a couple of years and it’s unlikely we would have passed up the opportunity to buy him. The club met with his agent a few weeks ago but then it all went quiet.

When Pep Guardiola announced his intention to sign the player it was game over. Thiago had played for Pep when he was in charge of Barcelona B and he was the manager to give Thiago his debut for the first team when he was 18-years-old. In Guardiola’s last season as manager Thiago racked up 45 appearances for the first team. You can hardly begrudge Thiago for wanting to be reunited with his former manager at the home of the current German and European champions, especially with United losing Alex Ferguson over the summer and their poor European record. United may be priced at 2/1 by Ladbrokes to win the Premier League but Thiago wanted to play for the national team and he knows that if he makes it at Bayern, under Guardiola, he will be playing at the absolute pinnacle of club football.

It has been reported today that United didn’t make contact with Barcelona over the player, which either suggests United weren’t that interested or, more likely, that they didn’t reach an agreement with the player’s agent so deemed in pointless making an offer. The fact that Thiago’s agent, Pere, is the brother of the Bayern Munich manager makes it all fairly obvious that the player has always known of Pep’s interest and therefore only ever really had intentions of leaving Barcelona for Germany.

In response to “losing out” on Thiago, United then put in a bid for Cesc Fabregas, worth £25m or more. What’s that all about? Whilst it’s reassuring to see the club going for world class players, the timing of it makes little sense. If Fabregas is genuinely a player we are after, a priority, why not put in an offer as soon as the transfer window opened? It was likely that Thiago was going to leave the club, so if we really wanted Fabregas, surely it would make sense to get in there first. It would be very surprising if Barcelona were prepared to let two quality midfielders go in one summer. If United’s priority was Thiago, as soon as it became apparent that he was probably going to Bayern Munich, United needed to move for Fabregas then.

The fact that United have gone in with a bid for Fabregas does suggest they believe the player would be open to moving to United, as this is what prevented them for making a bid for Thiago, but the whole affair seems fairly pointless. Fabregas played 48 games for Barcelona last season, but only 19 of those were for the full 90 minutes, so he would certainly get more playing time at Old Trafford. However, you imagine Fabregas would take 48 games with Barcelona, even if not the first name on the teamsheet, over playing every week for United. They are his boyhood club, the dream, and after just two years there it’s not likely he will want to give up on them yet. Iniesta and Xavi aren’t getting any younger, with the latter struggling with injuries, so it would make sense for Fabregas to bide his time. The only slight hope there may be in regards to playing time is the fact the World Cup in Brazil follows next season and Cesc could do with being in the spot light.

The only way Fabregas would be up for leaving, you imagine, is if Barcelona let him know they were prepared to sell him. The recent capture of Neymar could see a shift in Barca’s formation, with both the Brazilian and Messi being offered a more freeing attacking role, and Fabregas’ potential place in the team could be offered to the more defensive Song or Mascherano.

Moyes met with Charlie Wyett from The Sun last week and told him that players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale were ones we were looking at. It’s hard to know how much of this is truth and how much is just planned PR from the club. Our new CEO, Ed Woodward, claimed: “we haven’t got money burning a hole in our pocket but we have got a strategy on player purchases and if David wants to go after a stellar player he can do that.” He also said United were “absolutely” able to compete for players in the £60million-£70million bracket. But let’s not forget that David Gill kept telling us we had the £80m from Ronaldo to spend, but we’ve averaged a net spend of just over £30m per season in the three years since his sale. In the three years before his sale our net spend averaged at just over £20m and in that time the likes of Modric, Sneijder and Ozil have moved clubs and you have to go back to 2007 to find our last midfield buy, Owen Hargreaves. Unfortunately, the club talks shit at times and you can’t trust them to be entirely honest with the fans.

So was the Fabregas bid United attempting to show to everyone they can still flex their financial muscle, with the safety of knowing that Barcelona wouldn’t accept it following the sale of Thiago? Do United genuinely want to sign Fabregas but have been too slow off the mark and ruined any chance they might have had of getting him? Was Thiago the one we really wanted and now we’re desperately resorting to plan B?

It isn’t time to panic just yet. Robin van Persie didn’t sign for us until August 15th and Wayne Rooney’s transfer was completed on August 31st. There is still plenty of time for us to bring in a world class player, if that’s what the club intends. It goes without saying that Fabregas would be a great buy for us, but this bid seems very strange, so you should probably hold off on getting his name printed on the back of your kid’s shirt.

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. scholes18 says:

    I have a funny feeling bale Fellini and lewandowski will come in this year. We have around 65 mil already and we could get about 30 for Wayne…

    Or it could just be the little boy screaming in the back of my head like r.v.p lol

  2. glory Glory Holy Trin says:

    Its just sad really, no plausible MF solutions so far. Our transfer dealings have been non-existent and no concrete approach has been taken to strengthen the MF area, forget world class signings…our rivals have been quick,effective and determined to acquire world class targets. Shoddy business!

    Even Cesc transfer looks really complicated and difficult. This year, Chelsea and City are looking the strongest title contenders. I hope we dont become the next Arsenal in coming years….

  3. Rukky says:

    marv73, Moyes said wazza was ‘back up to rvp’ in the number 9 position not a in his prefer number 10 position. The only competion roo has is kagawa. Rooney can be deployed as the top 9 but he is better playing off the main striker. its just the media doing the usual. Besides we could care less right now

  4. King Cantona says:


  5. Rukky says:


  6. ys says:

    Damn n I thought we got rid of the Glory trinity guy

  7. Jorge Curioso says:

    “Chelsea and City are looking the strongest title contenders.”

    Well, other than the small detail of Citeh losing their two best strikers. Nice try, though.

  8. Nesh says:

    I dont care what Rooney haters say about the lad but i will be absolutely gutted if he leaves we certainly get a better striker than him, plus missing out on Thiago and now going for Fab i am almost busting here. Cant we get some thing exciting for a change. I am sure today by COB we will have the club confirm the capture of Leighton Baines ….complete bollocks!!

  9. lordrt says:

    Rooney’s back in the news with claims that he wants to leave again. I think it is better Moyes ends this saga by allowing him to do so, but of course at the correct price, and why not include a player back in the deal from the team buying him…

  10. Hans says:

    If we have to sell, we have to sell but please, please don’t sell Rooney to Chelsea.
    Anybody but Chelsea !!

    Yet again he is being led on by his agent like a fool!!!

  11. Capitano says:

    I think we should sell Rooney and go for a box to box midfielder like Arturo Vidal! Throwing Chicharito at the deep end alongside RVP! I think we should sign a young top striker rather than expensive established one!

  12. samuel - united WE stand says:

    Can see the difference between fergie being in charge and retiring, he would have banned these journalist cunts, everything looks in disarray.

  13. Bobby Charlton's Combover says:

    Back up for van Persie as a striker so maybe he was planning to play him behind the front players. Personally I don’t believe that was the intention of Moyes. It was a Fergie-esque type quote designed to knock Rooney off his fucking perch. United don’t want him and seem to think he is a bit of a bad apple. He’ll go. No doubt about it in my mind.

  14. lawman10 says:

    mind your head on the on the way out wayne !!!!!

  15. mwalker says:

    brainless git, all the people on the wayne gravy train (agent,wife etc) , whisper a lot in his ear ‘cos they dont want brand wayne devalued by some pesky manager and his comments

    too fucking big for his boots , sigh

    wind yer neck in, cunt

  16. OJM says:

    Cynical, miserable cunts still babbling on like a bunch of gossiping fishwives

  17. Icebergtz says:

    Chelsea have made a bid for Rooney and United have rejected it, according to Sky Sports News.

  18. Wakey says:

    Perhaps that game against Blackburn is one where he couldn’t have done any worse in but as he wasn’t playing well and the fact we had no player with experiance to play alongside him I’m not sure he would have done any better. Personally I think that game had bigger problems than specifically the CM choices as too many players were played out of position (in the case of Valencia for no reason whatsoever, surely Rafa at RB and Valencia in CM where he plays for his country made more sense). I suspect if we had another defender fit so Carrick could have played in CM he may have been given a chance for atleast the first half but if he had to be partnered with someone who wasn’t a CM it was going to do more harm than good for him (although perhaps a game looking awful may have been a good thing to lower expectations and ground Pogba)

    In the games he did get cameos in he looked good but that was the flashy stuff going forward. He was never put in a position to be tested as an actual midfielder which is where he was struggling in the reserves.

  19. OJM says:


    – I didn’t see Pogba struggle in the reserves!?

  20. eltb says:

    It’s getting embarrassing. Cesc stated he would stay at Barce if he was wanted by them. They said he is absolutely untransferable. He’s at home with friends, family and his boyhood team surrounded by the some of the greatest players of all time in one of the greatest teams of all time. Why would he want to come to Manchester? His old beloved clubs bitter rival, just to get more playing time? We have to admit Manchester United doesn’t have that much pulling power. No team does. Move on… (If he signs I’ll eat this comment)


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