Arsenal fans may still be bemoaning Arsene Wenger’s choice to turn down the option of re-signing Francesc Fabregas from Barcelona this summer, but the Frenchman has stuck by his decision once again, claiming that he has no regrets.
This morning the long-serving Gunners boss told fans that whilst it was strange to see his former captain turning out in a Chelsea shirt, he didn’t harbour any annoyance with himself for opting not to take Fabregas back to the Emirates Stadium when given the chance.
The 64-year-old went onto confirm that his only regret concerning the Spaniard was selling him in the first place, when he allowed him to move to Spain in 2011 for an initial fee of £35 million. This summer Fabregas became surplus to requirements at the Nou Camp, as new boss Luis Enrique made it clear from the off that he was to undertake a large-scale overhaul of the squad he inherited from Gerardo Martino.
Thus a European transfer scramble was initiated, with a number of Premier League sides fighting for the signature of a midfielder who had been oh so effective during his time in north London.
Arsenal fans would have been forgiven for assuming that they were the frontrunners to land Fabregas given his obvious ties with the club but it was not to be, and Wenger’s decision to back away from a transfer saw him switch instead to rivals Chelsea, for whom he excelled in the opening round of domestic fixtures against Burnley.
One door shuts and another opens however, and it’s been claimed that the Gunners are hot on the heels of Newcastle star Cheick Tiote as Wenger looks to add muscle to his midfield. The Ivory Coast midfielder has proven himself to be handful in the Premier League, and his presence would certainly give the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil license to get themselves forward.
What's more, Tiote is only rated by Newcastle at about £14 million, meaning that he's far cheaper than many of the other options Wenger could move for. Alan Pardew won't be keen on letting him go, but he may not have a choice if the player himself pushes for a move, just as Yohan Cabaye did last summer.
Other deals for William Carvalho and Sami Khedira have also been mentioned recently, and as a result it would appear Arsenal’s transfer business is far from over.