And on it goes...
There's one every summer. Last year it was Ronaldo to Madrid. The year before it was Ronaldo to Madrid. The year before that Henry to Barça. The year befo... oh who cares? The long, drawn out, seemingly interminable, "I am very happy here at X but of course it is an honour to be linked with a club such as Y" bore-a-thon that is the summer transfer saga. This time, it's Cesc.
Stories about Fabregas' return to the Camp Nou have been doing the rounds almost as long as he's been at Arsenal. Given that he's from Catalunya, it's not a hard one to write. This time though, it seems to be for real. With the signing of David Villa wrapped up unusually quickly, all talk is now of when, not if, the prodigal son will return. Thus far though, that's all it's been. Talk. Barça have yet to formally approach Arsenal. The Gunners say they don't want to sell him and er, that's it.
Yet the stories of Arsenal wanting anything up to £40 million, of Barça offering Zlatan, Yaya, a house in the Hamptons or a ride on the Space Shuttle in exchange one used midfielder, slight damage to the fibula, continue to spew forth like oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
I'd love to see Cesc back, he's a fabulous player who would improve any side. The pace, drive and positioning, accuracy with corners and free kicks plus his ability to shoot the ball from outside the box and open up suborn defenses would give the team something different. But can we just get it done. It'd rather not go through several months of this, having to listen to Clive Tyldesley and the like drone on about it during Spain games at the World Cup... "Xavi. To Fabregas. Is that a combination we'll be seeing next season at the Camp Nou? Barcelona fans would certainly...." zzzzzzz. Please stop. Let's bring our boy home.
More from La Masia
In other "Catalan midfielder leaves Arsenal and returns to Spain" news, Fran Merida has signed for Atletico Madrid. Merida, 20, never really did it at Arsenal, barely getting a look in to the first team beyond Carling Cup games and spending much of the season before last on loan at Real Sociedad. I think he's a tidy player if a bit lightweight. He should do well under Sanchez Flores at Atleti, their central midfield is sorely lacking in creativity and he ought inject some dynamism.