Chelsea transfer news: Antonio Conte 'willing to let Cesc Fabregas leave on loan' in January and will pay wages

Fabregas's £160,000-a-week wages have put off interested clubs, but Chelsea will reportedly subsidise a loan move to shift him on in January

Jack de Menezes
Tuesday 01 November 2016 10:49
Cesc Fabregas looks set to leave Chelsea in January on loan
Cesc Fabregas looks set to leave Chelsea in January on loan

Chelsea are ready to let Cesc Fabregas leave the club in January in a loan move after finding a formation under Antonio Conte that does not accommodate the central midfielder, with the club also considering paying a portion of his wages in order to move him on.

Fabregas has suffered from a thigh injury over the past month, but he had already dropped out of Conte’s first-team plans before he picked up the knock. The Spaniard has been given just one start this season in the Premier League, which came in the 3-0 defeat at former club Arsenal, and he was hauled off by Conte short of the hour mark after failing to impress.

The Italian manager had been impressed by Fabregas’s effort in training as well as his performance in the EFL Cup victory over Leicester City, but his substitution against Arsenal remains the last time he was seen on the pitch after more than a month out injured.

According to The Times, Chelsea’s switch to a 3-4-3 formation that favours defensive midfielders and wing-backs is set to spell the end for Fabregas, although the 29-year-old will only leave the club on loan in January and not on a permanent basis unless a sizeable offer is received.

As part of their plans to move Fabregas on, Chelsea are willing to subsidise part of his wages to encourage other clubs to make an offer in January, with his £160,000-a-week wages putting off potential suitors in the transfer market. Fabregas is the third highest earner at Stamford Bridge behind Eden Hazard and Diego Costa, and with the board deciding that Fabregas is not proving his worth on the pitch, the decision was taken to move on the former Arsenal captain.

The Times add that Fabregas came close to joining AC Milan on loan on deadline day two months ago, only for the move to break down due to a disagreement over his wages. Chelsea paid part of Fernando Torres’s salary when the striker moved to Milan in 2014, and the Italian club hoped for the Blues to do the same with Fabregas in order for them to take the Spain international to Italy.

Chelsea have not subsidised a players wages since the Torres move though, and were originally reluctant to sign off on the payments when they still believed Fabregas could offer something towards the push for a return to the Champions League and a possible title challenge – something Conte has insisted he won’t know is possible until after Christmas.

The problem for Fabregas is that Chelsea’s current midfield axis of N’Golo Kante and Nemanja Matic have developed a strong defensive understanding, with the pair offering protection to Conte’s new three-man defence of Cesar Azpilicueta, David Luiz and Gary Cahill. The formation means that the two other midfield roles are required to be filled by wing-backs, with Conte putting his faith in Marcos Alonso and Victor Moses to provide width when they break forward and extra men behind the ball in defence.

The result has been a run of four straight victories in the Premier League in which Chelsea have scored an impressive 11 goals and conceded none, and has triggered talk of an unlikely title challenge just five months after they finished in 10th in the 2015/16 Premier League table.

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