MLS- New York Red Bulls

Mid-Day Ticker: Fabregas inches closer to Barca, Eto'o considering Russia and more

Fabregas -Getty


One of the most drawn out and exasperating transfer sagas could soon be coming to an end.

In a deal believed to be around the £35 million mark, Arsenal's Cesc Fabregas appears to finally be headed Barcelona's way as the two clubs near an agreement for the marquee midfielder.

Fabregas has long been the subject of transfer speculation almost strictly to the La Liga champions, and the reported deal is said to be £25.5 million outright with £5 million in add-ons.  Fabregas himself will be paying £4.5 million personally after forking over about £900,000 in wages every year from his new deal.

Here are some other stories from across the globe to keep your Wednesday rolling:


What would a summer transfer window be without a shock switch of a big player?

Samuel Eto'o is apparently on the brink of a surprise move to the Russian Premier League with Anzhi Makhachkala.

The striker's agent Claudio Vigorelli claims that preliminary talks regarding a potential transfer have already taken place between the two clubs and has gone as far to say that an agreement is "almost" reached.

The transfer would mark a huge transition for Eto'o, who has spent the last two years at Inter Milan after completing a €46 million transfer from Barcelona in the summer of 2009.

Eto'o has bagged 33 goals in 67 appearances for the Serie A giants.


Turkish winger Arda Turan is on the brink of completing a move to La Liga's Atletico Madrid after it was announced that his current club Galatasaray has agreed a €13 million deal with Atletico.

Turan has long been linked with a big money switch away from the Turkish club, but always with several suitors mentioned.  

The player is slated to have his medical on Friday morning and, pending a successful inspection, will be presented in the Atletico Madrid colors by next Tuesday.


Michel Bastos has put to rest any rumors of his imminent departure from Ligue 1 superpower Lyon today.

The Brazilian winger has been the subject of transfer speculation with the most attention coming from Juventus in Serie A.

However, Bastos side-stepped his agent and came out publicly via Twitter and said, ""Friends, let me tell you that I will remain at OL. This is where I want to win titles…"

Bastos signed from Lille two years ago for a fee of €18 million.


Two of the MLS's biggest faces made their way onto EA Games's cover of FIFA 2012 in the Los Angeles Galaxy's Landon Donovan and the New York Red Bulls' Rafa Marquez.

The two MLS stars will be joined by Manchester United's Wayne Rooney, who recently enjoyed a goal-filled tour of the United States.

FIFA 2012 Cover here.


Glad Fabregas finally appears to be on his way to Barca?  Think Eto'o will light up the Russian Premier League?  Who did you want to see on the FIFA 2012 cover?

  • HoboMike

    I’ve never been a huge fan of Fabregas. He’s obviously overshadowed by his teammates on Spain, but last year was when I really lost interest in him. His continuous flirtation with Barca while being the Arsenal captain was a disgrace (I guess you could argue that it was a mistake to name a player captain who’s heart isn’t there).

    You gotta think that Arsenal is a HUGE winner here….provided they actually invest the ridiculous overpayment for Fabregas (much like Liverpool did with the Torres money). As for the player himself, I suppose he is an eventual replacement for Xavi. Until then, have fun on the pine, my friend.


  • Eugene T

    I’ve never understood why Wenger, after all the success he had with battle-tested vets like Henry, Vieira, Pires, Ljungberg, and Bergkamp, decided to flip the script completely and try to win with a bunch of lightweight kids.


  • BCC

    Who does Barca take off of the field in favor of Fabregas? I do not see this as a positive.

    Then again, I am a Real Madrid fan, so I hope this move proves unsettling.


  • Brian

    EA is clueless, huh? Even though he was on the cover last year, Donovan is obviously a no-brainer because he is the face of MLS and the most recognizable American soccer player. But Marquez? How could they not go with Chicharito? Mexicans are bat-sh*t crazy about the kid.

    At the end of the day, people are still gonna buy the game no matter who is on the cover, but the only thing dumber than this was putting Sacha on the cover.


  • David

    I think this is best for Arsenal in the end. Fabregas was great when he was healthy but that has become increasingly a rarity in the last 2 seasons. It is also better for the locker room. Everyone knew he wanted to play for Barca and you can’t have a captain that doesn’t want to be there. Just ask City…LOL


  • BCC

    Don’t have a problem with Marquez. My question is, why Rooney? Messi has a deal with another game, but why not someone else?


  • Tony in Quakleand

    You ask me, he was playing for Barca in last year’s Champions League…


  • K Bone

    I’d have to say Inter would use the Eto’o money to buy Tevez now. It would make sense to me…


  • Aaron in StL

    Me neither. It’s like he had a few good ones (starting with Cesc) and then just went overboard. I thought the point was to start selling some you can spare off, as they do in minor league baseball here, for results now.


  • frank from sf

    no one in Barca is playing every single game of every competition they’re in. Cesc will play more than ppl think. Barca will have played more than 60games by the end of their season.


  • Brian

    Could have put him in a Mexico jersey or something. Not a big deal. Most people wouldn’t see it as a “2 Manchester United players” thing. They would see it as EA trying to market the game to North America by putting the best American player, the best Mexican player, and one of the world’s best players (and someone who is on almost all of the covers worldwide) on the cover.


  • Free

    I thought Tevez wanted to go home… serie a ain’t home. Strange.

    My bigger question is why does eto’o want to play in Russia? Any personal connection?


  • inkedAG

    Arsene needs to sell Cesc and splash the cash for someone good. None of the signings so far are earth shattering. I’m getting tired of this.


  • Wenger Wants the $

    Its not Wenger, he would be glad to spend $ in the window, its the club that is handcuffing him. He wants the club to be profitable and obviously Arsenal are looking to the future when the new FIFA rules come into play but trust me, he would love to bring in solid vets to pepper around his young squad.


  • Eurosnob

    Having Fabergas is a big positive for Barca as the lack of depth in the midfield and in the back four was their biggest problem last season. Xavi and Iniesta played too many minutes last year and were worn out toward the end of the season. Fabergas gives Barca an excellent piece that would enable them to rest any of their three starting midfielders or have insurance in case of injury to any of their starters. In the meantime they will groom him as an eventual replacement for Xavi. With Cesc and Thiago being able to come of the bench, Barca’s midfied is downright scary and the lack of depth in the midfield is no longer an issue. Wtih Messi, Villa, Pedro and Sanchez upfront they are loaded. Abidal, Puyol, Pique and Alves are a good back four. Perhaps they could use a bit more depth in the back, but the team is loaded with talent and will be favored to win any competition it participates in.


  • greL

    Eto’o is going for a last big payday….20 million Euro/year for each of the next four years. I think I read somewhere that it’s double what Inter is paying him.

    Inter would rather sell Eto’o than Sneijder. Eto’o has been great for them, but players like Sneijder are not replaceable while Inter still has the Milito and Pazzini to take Eto’o’s spot.


  • K Bone

    More importantly, Serie A isn’t Manchester. While I think he would prefer a move to South America, I doubt he’d turn down a move to Inter, especially since they are the only team realistically interested in him now…


  • Ron Jeremy

    Money, money, money, money, MONEY!

    He’s gonna make 20 mil euros per year! He was due to make 8 per year at Inter


  • Sancho

    Chicharito is a great player right now, but Rafa has accomplished more over his career


  • BCC

    You have to consider the egos involved. If Barca is in the CL final and Iniesta, Xavi, and Fabregas are all healthy, who starts? Do any of those players strike you as the type who would be happy to sit on the bench at the start of an important game?

    From a purely objective standpoint, I don’t like the move because it is potentially disruptive to team chemistry.


  • Alex

    Egos? Xavi and Iniesta have to be two of the LEAST egotistical superstars in recent memory. If it was for the success of the team, I’m sure both of them would tolerate sitting. I’m not saying they’d be happy about it, but ego is NOT a problem for these guys. Maybe for Cesc, and I doubt he’s first choice yet, so it will be interesting to see how he handles it.


  • Paul C

    Sorry pal, but unless you are listening to Wenger cry over a glass of wine every night regarding his frustrations, there is no evidence that anything you just said is correct.

    He is constantly saying there is no ‘value’ in the market any more, etc. etc.

    The guy’s ego has gotten in the way, that’s the bottom line.


  • Paul C

    Surprised there hasn’t been more reaction from people regarding Cesc taking a $900k hit a year out of his salary. Say what you will about how this saga has gone down, but that shows how bad the kid wants to be there.


  • Good Jeremy

    Marques probably sold his rights quite a bit cheaper. Same reason they had Kaka last year instead of Ronaldo or Messi (they would have had to buy his PES contract).


  • Leo

    Eto’o is amazing. Every team he goes to is #1. Dude has so many accolades it’s unreal. I can’t wait til he comes to MLS!!!


  • Ok if you say so...

    Alright there tough guy. You are trying to tell me that the club will give him all the money he wants to buy players and he has decided to turn it down in favor of young and cheaper players? I don’t know what youre smoking but lay off for a bit eh? There is no coach of sound mind that would turn down the chance to upgrade the squad with more $.


  • Paul C

    The man just spent almost 15 million pounds on an unproven league one winger. I could elaborate, but if that doesn’t cover my points you’re not going to be worth the time.

    Pass me some of what he’s smoking, while we’re at it.


  • Pass it around...

    There is a reason Arsenal hired Ivan Gazidis, the former MLS executive who negotiates deals for the club. He is a hard nosed negotiator and is known for grinding out deals. This is what he said 3 days ago:

    “Arsene recognises we need to have additions and addition or additions in our defence. He recognises there has been an issue there.

    “And he will take steps to do that. Now they haven’t been taken yet and I can’t give you the whole inside story on every reason why that isn’t the case.

    “Of course ideally what you’d really want to do is sign players early. Manchester United have been successful in doing that this window. They’re not successful every window in doing that. They’ve been successful this window.

    “Other clubs haven’t been that successful in doing that this window.

    “We’ve also got a slightly different challenge than some of the other clubs.

    “Some of the other clubs – our major competitors – have older squads where they’ve got players who’s future they need to look at and they need to bring players in to replace those players.

    “Our challenge is a little bit different. We’ve got a young squad and so we’re actually looking the other way round. They’re looking to sign young players to come in. We need a little bit more know-how and experience to supplement some of the young players that we have.”

    Gazidis concluded:

    “We do have money to spend. We’re in a financially healthy situation but we don’t have the kind of money to go out and spend £50m on a player. I don’t think that is what our fans are asking for.”

    The club invests in young players because they will have a return unlike older vets. Check out the book Soccernomics by Simon Kuper , Stefan Szymanski. They say buy young and sell when you get high bids.

    Arsenal are running the club like a business which is unusual when it comes to futball clubs. All they care about is being in the top 4 so they can get Champions League $.

    And lets face it, 15 million pounds is not that great a sum for a Champions League club especially when you see how much teams like Man City and Chelsea pay out for players. To top it off, they have paid that sum for an English Futballer which are priced differently than other players becuase of the new rules in regards to English players in the Premier League.


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