This time last year we had to read almost on a daily basis that Cristiano Ronaldo was heading to Real Madrid. Anything that United did on the pitch was overshadowed by stories that a deal had already been put in place for him to leave for Spain.
It was time for him to go and our fans were confident we already had a player who would step up to the plate: Wayne Rooney.
We were right to put our faith in the lad, with him already having scored 8 more goals in the league than Ronaldo did all of last season. The PFA Player of the Year shortlist has been announced today and Rooney is rightly the favourite to scoop the award. Great stuff.
Arsenal fans are now set to experience the same frustrations of reading about their best player constantly linked with a move away. This is something they are no stranger to, of course, with Cesc Fabregas always being tipped to return to his boyhood club, Barcelona, to play for his idol, Pep Guardiola. However, when the season ends, they should expect daily updates on the situation.
Arsenal chairman, Peter Hill-Wood, moved to play down the transfer rumour this week, and remarkably claimed that their best player wouldn’t even get in Barcelona’s team, which surely rubbed salt in the wounds of Arsenal fans who recently watched Barca play them off the park home and away.
“There was a private conversation that took place in the boardroom and assurances have been made at the highest possible level,” said Hill-Wood. “Arsenal do not expect those to be broken. They said to us they are not interested. Subsequent to the conversation, if they are interested at any time in the future, they would come to us direct. However I’m not sure they are going to do that, because they told us they are pretty happy with what they have got and are pretty happy with their current players. If you want my opinion, I’m not sure he would even get in their team. Do they need him? I’m not sure that they do. We hope he stays with us for a very long time.”
North London breathed a sigh of relief but today Barcelona claimed no such promises had been made and will put a bid in this summer if they want to.
“If Barcelona considers it necessary for the team, we will go after him, always respecting the negotiations,” said Barcelona’s sporting director Txiki Bergirlstain. “We’ve never said that we will not try to sign Cesc Fabregas. We’ll see what happens.”
Arsenal will improve on their fourth place finish of last season but have gone another year without any silverware, Fabregas’ fifth year without a winners’ medal.
No doubt we will all become bored of the daily stories about Fabregas over the coming months but I’d far rather the boredom than hearing about one of our players heading for the exit door!
As for Fabregas, best of luck to him in realising his dream of playing for Barcelona, and hopefully it will turn out better than Ronaldo’s “dream move” to Real Madrid has done so far! Oh well, at least they’ll still have Silvestre…