Former Arsenal and Chelsea star Cesc Fabregas is a free agent after his contract at French club Monaco expired.
The 35-year-old is now available to sign for free for a club ahead of the new campaign after three-and-a-half years at Monaco. Despite struggling with injuries in recent years, the midfielder has won the Premier League twice, two FA Cup crowns, a league title in Spain alongside the 2010 World Cup and two European Championships, having been capped 110 times for Spain.
Fabregas told So Foot last month when talking about his next move: “I’m looking for a fresh start. My head needs a fresh start elsewhere. To be honest, I’ve already had two or three phone calls in the past two weeks from some of my former coaches to find out what I wanted to do, to see if I wanted to join them this summer as a coach.
“But this year has been so bad that I can’t finish on that. Not after building this career. I want to keep playing. I’m grateful for the career I’ve had, but I don’t feel like it’s over. I’m open to anything, I just want to have fun. The place doesn’t really matter, it’s more my head that counts. When I’m fit I feel really good, when I’m training with my team-mates I don’t feel any different when it comes to passion for the game.”
Mirror Football looks at five possible Premier League destinations for the Spanish midfielder.
The Bees swooped to sign free agent Christian Eriksen in January and a move for Fabregas would be a similar thought process.
The Spaniard would be a low-risk, no-fee signing that would fit into the club’s style of play and he would add the passing range, set-piece proficiency and experience that the likely departure of Eriksen would require. London teams are also likely to hold an advantage for Fabregas due to his experience of living in the capital.
As evidenced by the January additions of Dele Alli and Donny van de Beek, Lampard believed his squad lacked depth in that position and Van de Beek’s subsequent return to Manchester United may open up the opportunity of a move for Fabregas.
Similarly to Brentford, Fulham may hold a geographical advantage in Fabregas’s plans for a next club and the newly-promoted side may believe the Spaniard would be a wily addition to their ranks.
Marco Silva’s side plays predominantly a 4-2-3-1 formation with two deeper lying midfielders, meaning that Fabregas could add much-needed depth and chip in throughout the campaign, while the short-term nature of his signing would mean there is no risk for the Cottagers.
Fabregas played alongside Palace boss Patrick Vieira for two seasons in the heart of Arsenal ’s midfield and the Frenchman will no doubt be keeping one eye on his availability.
Another London-based side who may hold a particular appeal for Fabregas, the exit of Conor Gallagher – who returns to Chelsea – this summer may prompt the Eagles to swoop for the Spaniard to add depth to their midfield options.
While it is unlikely that Fabregas would feature prominently for Eddie Howe’s side next season, he would add a bundle of experience and know-how which the dressing room may be relatively lacking.
While the Magpies now have a transfer budget that is the envy of world football, they will be aware that squad transformations will take time and the addition of Fabregas would allow them to bolster their ranks within a budget.