Catherine Ivill – AMA/Getty Images
April 18, 2017
AC Milan will reportedly make another offer for Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas at the end of the season.
According to Darren Lewis of the Daily Mirror, while the playmaker is keen to be part of the Blues squad for next season, manager Antonio Conte “was willing to listen to offers for Fabregas last summer and is expected to do so again.”
The Spain international has struggled to cement a place as a regular starter under Conte this term, with Nemanja Matic and N’Golo Kante preferred in midfield.
During his time in the Premier League with Arsenal and Chelsea, Fabregas has been a joy to watch at times. Per Squawka Football, the former Barcelona man has proved himself as one of the most creative players around:
Squawka Football @Squawka
Most assists in Europe’s top 5 leagues since 2012/13:
Lionel Messi (64)
Ángel Di María (57)
Cesc Fabregas (56)
Luis Suarez (56) https://t.co/M9dSIWmouT
3/7/2017, 6:11:00 PM
But this season he’s been mainly limited to a substitute role. Fabregas has been introduced into matches 14 times from the bench in the Premier League this campaign, starting just nine games.
In fairness to the Catalan, it’s a role he’s carried out with some distinction. Whether he’s been needed to slow the game down or inject some incision into the Blues attack, Fabregas has been able to do it, grabbing four goals and seven assists in 2016-17.
Conte has used Fabregas off the bench in the main.Clive Rose/Getty Images
World Soccer Talk’s Kartik Krishnaiyer believes the 29-year-old can still bring something to the Chelsea cause:
Kartik Krishnaiyer @kkfla737
I tweet this every Saturday usually a little later than this – Cesc Fabergas still has a lot to offer !
4/1/2017, 2:05:07 PM
With UEFA Champions League football to come next season Conte will have to rotate his squad much more than he has done this term. Being able to bring in a player of Fabregas’ quality and experience would not be a luxury many other managers in English football would be privy to.
However, the man himself will surely be desperate to start more matches in what should be the peak years of his career. Milan would be able to offer him a key role, which could be a tempting option.
Everton Name Romelu Lukaku Price
Chris Brunskill Ltd/Getty Images
According to Phil Kirkbride of the Liverpool Echo, Everton will hold out for a world-record £100 million this summer before they decide to sell reported Chelsea target Romelu Lukaku.
“Every player has his price, of course, but Rom’s has been set at a world-record fee,” said Kirkbride in the report. “And by setting it at unprecedented levels they are making it increasingly likely that Lukaku, against his wishes, will remain an Everton player next season.”
Bleacher Report UK @br_uk
Everton will let Romelu Lukaku leave—but only if they receive an offer of £100m [@LivEchoEFC] https://t.co/U3S86K4Ra2
4/17/2017, 10:16:12 PM
As noted in the piece, the fee is designed to scare off the likes of Chelsea, who have been linked with a possible summer move for their former player.
Per Kirkbride, Everton boss Ronald Koeman has confirmed the striker has told him he will not sign a new contract at Goodison Park and has admitted “it will be so difficult to find a replacement for him.” Sports journalist Paul Brown is unsure whether any club would be able to afford him, though:
Paul Brown @pbsportswriter
Good value or not, pretty sure there’s no-one out there currently willing to pay £100m for Lukaku
4/17/2017, 6:40:47 PM
Everton’s valuation of the player is understandable. Lukaku, after all, has proved himself as one of the most reliable goalscorers in European football and is still just 23 years old. He’s the Premier League’s top scorer with 24 top-flight goals this season.
For suitors like Chelsea it’s a sum of money that’ll potentially be a huge put-off. Instead, interested clubs may be better served waiting until the summer of 2018 to make their move for the striker, when he will have just one season left on his contract.