Jul 20, 2013, 10:12 AM EST
As the big game of musical chairs goes on in Europe, a mad dash of player movement, overture, leverage creation and outright nonsensical hearsay, we ask this question: is anybody really “Completely nontransferable?”
Sky Sports was the first to report earlier this week that Manchester United was prepared to lay $53 million (a nice, round £35 million in the currency of the bidder) to import Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona.
Never mind that the Spanish midfielder has said repeatedly that he wants to remain at Barcelona. And never mind that his role will surely continue to grow at the Nou Camp as Andres Iniesta and Xavi, the longtime midfield pillars of the Catalan giant, march inexorably against the sands of time. Iniesta, just 29, presumably has plenty of miles on his fabulously decorated journey, but is about the round the 30-year corner. But Xavi is 33 and cannot possibly keep up this relentless pace, this years-long chase of domestic, continental and international hardware, very much longer.
Manchester United was apparently rebuffed in its pursuit of Fabregas as the first official statement emerged on the matter from Barca. Vice president Josep Maria Bartomeu told the Spanish newspaper Sport: “Barça can ensure they will not entertain any offers for Cesc. He is completely non‑transferable.”
Yes, but haven’t we heard similar sentiments before, only to watch as so-and-so packs his completely non-transferable bags and prepares to take the obligatory medical for his new employers?
Manchester United clearly do not believe in this concept of “non-transferability.” Now in Australia for preseason training, the club continues to believe that Fabregas or perhaps Gareth Bale remain within reach.
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Mar 7, 2014, 2:03 PM EST
It once seemed incomprehensible that Leo Messi could leave Barcelona. But is it a possibility?
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Juventus insist the midfielder isn’t for sale, but with at least three big names sniffing around, will the Italian giants be tempted?
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Will either Cardiff or Fulham get the three points they so desperately need?
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Don’t worry, Leo fans: Messi’s reaction during Argentina’s match against Romania was perfectly normal.
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Will Spurs be able to break the spell José Mourinho has cast over Stamford Bridge?
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Will United really pay such a high price for young Luke Shaw?
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Joe Prince-Wright and Mike Prindiville discuss this weekend’s meeting relegation-embattled Cardiff City and Fulham.
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What definitely will not happen in the upcoming Major League Soccer season.
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