Cesc Fabregas is understood to have told Arsene Wenger he wants to leave Arsenal in order to rejoin Barcelona as president Joan Laporta hints at making a bid...I can't wait to get Neal's thoughts on this, though I'm afraid they won't be worthy of publication on a family-friendly website.
It now appears that the midfielder is ready to ask for permission to join the newly-crowned Primera Liga champions next season and a fee is likely to be in the region of £30-35million...
Laporta also confirmed transfer talks were well underway with Valencia over a deal to bring striker David Villa to Camp Nou.
"We are in the negotiating process and everything is going in the right direction," Laporta added.
For my money, this is a year too early. Xavi isn't going anywhere just yet. And while Cesc is the natural heir to that role on that team, he won't want to go to sit behind anyone. But if I'm Wenger, I forgoe the cash and get Yaya Toure and Zlatan Ibrahimavic in return. Or Gabriel Milito. All three? Losing Cesc would be a huge blow to Arsenal's ambitions, but if he doesn't want to be there he will entually begin hurting the team. And while Arsenal miss him on the field, they missed Song and Vermaelen more when they were out injured. With Robin van Persie able to be the team's creative hub (or Nasri), and with another capable center forward in Ibra, I think Arsenal would be well served making the swap(s).
But I'll defer to our resident Gooner. Over to you, Mr. Thurman.