Cesc Fabregas looks set to rejoin former club Arsenal, after bookmakers made the North London side 8/11 favourites to capture the signature of the unsettled midfielder this season.
Fabregas, an Arsenal player from 2003-2011, has had a below-average season at the Nou Camp, and, in the event of the Catalan giants' transfer embargo being briefly lifted this summer, will link up with his former teammates in a €29 million deal.
After his sale in 2011, for a fee of around £35 million, Fabregas has held down a regular starting spot in one of the best midfields in Europe over the past three seasons.
However, the 13/14 campaign has not been a successful one for Cesc. The club has struggled in all competitions; they were beaten finalists in the Copa del Rey, knocked out of the Champions League by Atletico Madrid in the quarter-finals, and look set for a second or third-placed finish in La Liga.
A change of management is possible in the summer, as Tato Martino's slow, possession-based game has been criticised by fans and pundits alike, and Fabregas was recently booed by home fans in a victory against Athletic Bilbao.
Although the player has made plenty of appearances for Barca, (42 this season) it appears that his second spell at the club is reaching a crossroads this summer, with two years remaining on his current contract, and the club may be willing to listen to offers for the 26-year-old.
Gerard Pique has spoken out against the fans targeting their frustration at Fabregas, saying:
"I think it is a mistake to focus on just one player. Blame it on the players, okay, but not just Cesc. The season has not been good and I think we are all part of a group that haven't quite got things right."
And leading UK bookmaker PaddyPower has made Arsenal favourites to sign the midfielder, with short odds of 8/11, as they look set to beat Manchester United (5/1) and Bayern Munich (10/1) to his signature.
It would be an exciting move for Arsenal fans, who will remember the success the club enjoyed in his time at the club, and a midfield partnership between Fabregas, Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil and Jack Wilshere would surely be one of the best in Europe.
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