Fabregas' Arsenal future in doubt after chairman's insult - Exclusive
Published 06:00 16/04/10 By John Cross
Cesc Fabregas' future has been plunged into doubt after a huge row at Arsenal.
Fabregas has been left deeply upset by Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood’s comments about him not being good enough to get into the Barcelona team.
And it comes on top of Barcelona denying Hill-Wood’s other claim that a “gentlemen’s agreement” is in place meaning the Spanish giants would not try to sign Fabregas this summer.
The row could now shatter Arsenal’s hopes of keeping Fabregas and drive the Gunners captain into Barcelona’s arms this summer.
It is another massive blow to Arsenal less than 48 hours after they crashed out of the title race.
It is believed that Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has also been infuriated by Hill-Wood’s comment that: “If you want my opinion, I’m not sure he (Fabregas) would even get into their team.”
Fabregas, currently on holiday in Marakesh as he recovers from the leg injury that is keeping out for the rest of the season, found those remarks disrespectful and inappropriate.
Wenger, from a position of confidence of keeping Fabregas, is now seriously concerned and it is believed he has pleaded with the Spanish midfielder to stay for another two years to carry on his vision for long-term success.
Fabregas is top of Barcelona’s wanted list this summer as they are desperate to re-sign the player who left them as a 16-year-old to move to north London.
Hill-Wood claimed that “high-level talks” had taken place between Arsenal and Barcelona and the Spanish club had promised not to bid for Fabregas.
But Barcelona technical secretary Txiki Begiristain has denied there is any such agreement in place and warned that they will go for Fabregas if they think he will improve their squad.
Begiristain said: ‘If Barcelona think that he is necessary for the team, they will go for him, always respecting negotiations. We have never said that we will not try to sign Cesc Fabregas. We will see what happens.’
Barcelona now privately insist that the only guarantee they made was to carry out negotiations through the front door and promised there would be no “tapping-up” or secret meetings behind Arsenal’s back.
But that now seems to be the least of Arsenal’s concerns as Fabregas is deeply annoyed and upset. It would not be the first time that Hill-Wood has put his foot in his mouth.
Hill-Wood said he “did not want their sort” when asked about majority shareholder, US tycoon Stan Kroenke’s interest in the club, and he also upset former captain Patrick Vieira with remarks about the team.