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José Mourinho interested inCesc Fábregas as Chelseaapproach Barça

Chelsea have opened formal negotiations with
Barcelona over the potential signing of Cesc Fábregas,
and, while no fee has as yet been agreed for the Spain
international midfielder, there is optimism on both
sides that a deal will soon be struck.
Fábregas is resigned to leaving the Camp Nou after
three seasons back at the Catalan club and is available
for £30m, with Barça intent on prising Koke from
Atlético Madrid to kickstart Luis Enrique’s tenure as
their new manager. With Arsenal having indicated they
will not take up their option to re-sign their former
captain, and Manchester City, Manchester United and
Liverpool having prioritised strengthening other areas
of their teams, the 27-year-old’s desire to return to
the Premier League can only be satisfied with a move
to Stamford Bridge.
The Chelsea manager, José Mourinho, has confirmed
his interest in securing Fábregas and has
acknowledged that he is seeking a transfer back to
England, where he made his name over eight seasons at
Arsenal. The Portuguese has already lost one
midfielder after Frank Lampard’s departure under
freedom of contract. “We have some interest [in
Fábregas],” said Mourinho. “I have interest in analysing
the situation.
“I think it looks like he’s really interested in leaving
Barcelona and is very, very interested in coming back
to England. This, I think, is clear. There is a process
where he wants to leave, [and] he wants to come to
England because it’s the country where he wants to
be, where he prefers to play. We are interested in
monitoring the situation.”
The midfielder is currently preparing for the World
Cup with the Spain squad in Washington, where they
play El Salvador on Saturday before travelling to
Brazil 24 hours later. He would ideally like his future
to be determined before the national team begin their
defence of the trophy against Holland on 13 June. A
firm bid from Chelsea would force Arsenal to
reiterate that they do not wish to take up their option
but, while Fábregas is disappointed his former club are
not keen to pursue his signature, he is open to a return
to London despite previously enduring a rather
fractious relationship with Mourinho.
The deal appears relatively easily resolved given the
player’s availability. Indeed, Fernando Torres, who is
also in the Spain squad, believes his national team-
mate would become a “leader” in the dressing room at
Stamford Bridge with Lampard’s departure, along with
that of Ashley Cole this summer, creating a void.
“Would Cesc be a great signing? Great players are
always great signings,” said Torres. “He’s a type of
player Chelsea don’t have now. Cesc knows the Premier
League, he can add football, possession, goals if he
feels important. He can be a leader, like he was at
Mourinho is close to agreeing the £32m signing of the
Atlético striker Diego Costa, with the Brazil-born
Spain international having passed a medical organised
by Chelsea, and hope to follow that with the signing of
his team-mate, Filipe Luis, to replace Cole at left-
back. The veteran heard the news he was to be
released after the club made a phone call to his agent
and Mourinho has admitted that he has not yet spoken
to the player, who is a little surprised at the way his
departure has been handled after eight years' service.
"With Lampard, I spoke a couple of weeks before the
end of the league," Mourinho said. "With Ashley, I
didn't have that chance. And different situations. I
want to see what is going on, what is going to happen. I
need to. But I will speak to him."
Cole was the controversial omission from Roy
Hodgson's England squad for the World Cup finals,
with the England manager taking into account his lack
of regular football for Chelsea over the season. With
Cesar Azpilicueta in fine form, Mourinho often found
that he could not work a space for Cole. "I have no
regrets because I don't work for the national team,"
Mourinho said, with regard to Cole's World Cup
exclusion. "I work for Chelsea and the decisions I
make, I always make thinking about the club, the team
and the players come after. In the last part of the
season, Cole showed how good he is because he had to
play a Champions League semi-final against Atletico
Madrid after not playing for a very long time. He
played with great stability to the team.
"After that, I keep him in the team and I push him to
get a World Cup position. He played really well. Mr
Hodgson could easily see he was in perfect condition.
After that comes the option and it's an option I
respect. He can choose who he wants and he chose
[Leighton] Baines and [Luke] Shaw. It is his decision
and not a single criticism of that. But Ashley was in
condition to play."

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Posted By Bobricky On 07:09 Sat, 07 Jun 2014

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