If you believe what you’re reading, Cesc Fàbregas is already committed to leaving Chelsea in the January window.
If Maurizio Sarr’s reading that stuff, though, he doesn’t seem to be believing it.
He says he wants to keep the Premier League's second all-time assist-making midfielder.
“In this position we have only two players, Jorginho and Fabregas, so for me it would be really a problem without Cesc. I want him to stay, I don’t know the final decision of Cesc and the club of course.
“But for me it’s very important and if Cesc will go I think that we need to buy another player, and it’s not easy because, technically, Cesc is a very important player. And I think that in the market it’s very difficult to find a player with his characteristics.”
That last bit is the crucial one with regard to a January transfer. Things might be different in the summer, but the winter window is both overpriced and short on selection (not to mention how long it would take a newcomer to learn the system). Sarri needs Fàbregas.
But Cesc doesn’t need Chelsea and he could get the playing time he craves elsewhere. There are rumors that he rejected a contract overture by Chelsea, no doubt for the same reason that David Luiz did.
Now Cesc Fabregas stuff is out I'll share. He got offered a new deal at Chelsea which he rejected. The club came in with a new offer but he wants to play and clubs like Monaco and AC Milan are offering him first team football. Chelsea are looking for a new back up regista #CFC— CarefreeYouth (@CarefreeYouth) December 28, 2018
And that’s the overarching issue — Chelsea’s refusal to grant anything beyond a one-year extension to players over 30.
Sarri seems resigned to accepting that he needs to work within the restriction.
“Oh, it depends. It depends on the single situation I think. It’s a rule and so we have to respect that, I think.
“As you know very well the big problem is the duration of the new contracts. Because, as you know, over 30 years the club offers only one year to renew. And for a player of 31, it’s a big problem to sign a new contract for only one year. So the problem is only this, I think.”
This might not be such a dilemma if Chelsea weren’t still alive in three cup competitions. By the 9th of January, that particular problem might solve itself, with Nottingham Forest (January 5th, FA Cup) and Tottenham (January 8th, League Cup) coming up.
But as it stands Sarri understandably wants to keep Fàbregas, not just for the cups but also as a safeguard should Jorginho go down.