The future of Cesc Fabregas promises to be one of the biggest stories of the summer, with the Spain international strongly linked with a return to the Premier League.
Here, we take a look at the options available to the Barcelona midfielder.
Remain at Barcelona
As a product of Barcelona's youth system, when Fabregas returned to the club from Arsenal it was billed as something of a homecoming. Yet it's not been all happy families since he returned. During the two years he's been back at the Nou Camp, Fabregas has failed to cement a place in the starting line-up and rarely plays a full 90 minutes. His return of 12 goals this season in what is a free scoring, shot happy side has also been a disappointment. The club are reportedly happy to listen to offers although he has three years remaining on his current contract and could just as easily stay.
New Manchester United manager David Moyes has apparently detected central midfield as his new club's greatest weakness. With concerns over the health of Darren Fletcher and the real retirement of Paul Scholes, it's easy to see why. Fabregas has reportedly emerged as the prime target, although Thiago Alcantara and PSV Eindhoven skipper Kevin Strootman are other options available to Moyes.
If there is a big money transfer deal going down, expect Manchester City to be linked somewhere along the line. With the club currently without a manager, it's impossible to know exactly what the Citizens are planning in the transfer market. Although the club's track record demonstrates they enjoy snapping up the best players in the world and Fabregas fits the bill. Keeping him out of the clutches of United would also provide ample motivation for signing him.
Under the terms of the deal that saw Fabregas depart for Barcelona two summers ago, it was agreed that Arsenal would have first refusal should he be sold. There's little doubt the player would be welcomed back by fans, there remains a place for him in the side with the club having been unable to replace him and it's understood that Arsene Wenger is armed with a huge war chest that would enable them to compete with United and City. When Fabregas left, he said his biggest regret was "not to be able to lift a trophy as Arsenal captain". He might yet have his chance. However, should Fabregas return to England and it not be with Arsenal - the fans who allowed him to leave for Barcelona with their blessing will quickly be cursing his name.
Monaco are in the throws of a huge overhaul, PSG are always looking to add talent to their already incredible squad and Fabregas has his admirers in Italy with AC Milan failing with a bid back in 2011. Linking up once more with Pep Guardiola, who is about to start work at Bayern Munich, could also present itself. There is little doubt that should Barcelona make clear their readiness to let him leave, the 26-year-old will not be short of suitors.
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