Manchester United transfer rumours: Cesc Fabregas a potential target

Jasper Juinen

Following a pair of less than spectacular seasons at FC Barcelona, the Catalans might be willing to listen to offers for Cesc Fabregas. At least one outlet believes Manchester United could come calling.

The London Evening Standard is reporting that Manchester United have already contacted FC Barcelona about the availability of midfielder Cesc Fabregas. The former Arsenal captain has had an up-and-down season with the Blaugrana, who might be re-considering their approach and the makeup of their squad after their thrashing at the hands of Bayern Munich and their widely reported pursuit of Neymar.

Despite Fabregas's numerous high-profile lackluster performances, he has turned in quite a few decent shifts this season. While operating in numerous roles, he's amassed more La Liga starts than any outfield player other than Lionel Messi while racking up 15 goals and 16 assists in 47 total appearances.

Fabregas morphed into an advanced playmaker in his final years with Arsenal and has spent quite a bit of time as the most advanced midfielder in Barcelona's midfield three this season, with Andres Iniesta shoved out to the wing. He's spent time spelling Xavi in a deeper role, and has also occasionally played as a center forward when Messi was unavailable or resting during the last two seasons.

If this rumor has legs, Fabregas shouldn't have too much trouble getting regular time in the Manchester United side. He's certainly not the perfect solution to what ails their center of midfield, but could potentially fit in a two-man center of midfield, especially if paired with an extremely athletic and defensively-minded player like Phil Jones. He certainly isn't any worse defensively than Tom Cleverley, and isn't less mobile than Michael Carrick.

While Fabregas wouldn't be a perfect fit for the formation that Alex Ferguson used most of this season and the similar one that David Moyes used at Everton, his versatility would make him incredibly useful. However, Barcelona should have the money to buy Neymar (and other reinforcements) without selling, and Arsenal reportedly have first option on his transfer.

This is a post from our transfer rumors section. For news and analysis, visit SB Nation Soccer's homepage.

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