MILAN ITALY - FEBRUARY 14: Luka Modric of Tottenham Hotspur in action during a training session on the day before the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 1st leg match between AC Milan and Tottenham Hotspur at the San Siro Stadium on February 14 2011 in Milan Italy. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
So the longest running transfer saga in English football history (that may be a bit of hyperbole, but I doubt it) has finally ended. Cesc Fabregas has finally returned to Barcelona from Arsenal. This undoubtedly make Xavi happy because it will end Cesc's well-documented "suffering".
In the end Arsenal agreed to sell their captain and one of their best players for the paltry sum of €29 million. Yes, I'm well aware that there are an additional €10 million in clauses available but those are not guaranteed. And even if Fabregas does reach those incentive based clauses our North London rivals will still only receive about €40 million for one of the best midfielders in all of football.
To put this sum in perspective, earlier this summer Paris St. Germain payed €42 million for Palermo's Javier Pastore. Pastore is an excellent player, but he is not yet anywhere close to Cesc's level. The fee paid for Fabregas is the same fee that Liverpool paid Newcastle for Andy Carroll. Boggles the mind, doesn't it?
So, I know you're wondering why I'm talking about an Arsenal player on a Tottenham blog. Well, the reason this is important is that Tottenham have their own star midfielder, Luka Modric, who is the subject of constant transfer speculation. When the Pastore deal was completed many of us here at the site were giddy because PSG had just set the bar high for the value on our Croatian playmaker.
Now, thanks to stupid Arsenal accepting a stupid lowball offer from Barcelona we're in a bit of trouble. Chelsea want Luka Modric. Their last offer was £27 million (€30 million). We quickly rejected the offer. Is Modric better than Fabregas? Well, they're different players, but the simple answer is no Fabregas is the better player. Chelsea can now come back to Spurs and say, "Look, Fabregas was only worth €29 million guaranteed. Our offer was better than that. We'll tack on a few million in clauses too. Sound good?"
Spur's bargaining position here is not strong. Luka doesn't seem to be interested in staying at the club despite radio silence from both sides since the big blowup back in July. Spurs aren't going to let Modric rot on the bench and as a club that needs to sell in order to buy the market will tend to set the price on your assets. This Fabregas deal is not good for Spurs.