Cesc Fàbregas recently returned to light training following a “near-knee” injury, but if the latest reports from Italy are to be believed, he’s not long for Chelsea regardless.
According to Corriere dello Sport, who may be scraping the bottom of the rumor-barrel on account of international break boredom, have linked the veteran midfielder with a move to AC Milan.
According to the rather familiar-sounding report, Milan are preparing a January bid to acquire Cesc’s services. Fàbregas, twice winner of the Premier League with Chelsea, is in the final year of the five-year contract he signed in 2014.
Fàbregas got off to a strong start under Sarri in (pre)season, starting all of our friendlies until he got injured against his old club, Arsenal, in the third friendly. That’s the injury he’s only just beginning to recover from.
But in the meantime, Mateo Kovačić arrived on loan, Ruben Loftus-Cheek returned from loan, and Ross Barkley actually revealed himself to be real, so at this point, it’s looking unlikely that Fàbregas would get a lot of gametime even if and when he gets fit. A move away in January could certainly make some sense for him and the club as well, especially as we’d stand to collect some sort of transfer fee instead of a big fat nothing in the summer.
However, if we look at the bigger picture, it makes more sense for Fàbregas to play out his contract and let it expire. Milan are unlikely to offer him higher wages than he’s currently earning at Chelsea, but he could maximize his next offer (from whoever) if he were a free agent (rather than also making his new club pay a transfer fee). For the same reason, it would also make more sense for Milan (or whoever) to wait until the end of the season.
Another issue worth considering is that Chelsea are bound to rotate in the Europa League group stages as well as the early rounds of the League Cup and FA Cup. Not only would Fàbregas get opportunities that way, he would also cup-tie himself in Europe, which could be a concern for the Rossoneri, who are also in the Europa League (after being reinstated by UEFA).
But for now, all we can do is speculate and wait for the January transfer window to open. Fàbregas has had a habit of responding to speculation on social media or via quotes, so perhaps he’ll say something about this, too. After all, he’s probably bored with this international break, too, just like the rest of us.