Cesc Fabregas’s plans to nail down a regular starting place at Chelsea have taken a massive hit.
Manager Antonio Conte’s switch to a 3-4-3 formation has seen Nemanja Matic and N’Golo Kanté thriving in the central roles, which would have a huge impact on the Spanish international’s chances of first team football when he returns from injury.
As such, the Times are reporting that Conte will look to loan Fabregas out in January and bring in a midfielder more suited to the 3-4-3 formation. The report makes the claim that the manager doesn’t see Fabregas as being compatible with the system, either in a central role or indeed as one of the front three. Apparently the pair have not fallen out, and this is a purely footballing decision.
Indeed, even before picking up the muscular injury last month, Fabregas had struggled for game time at Stamford Bridge. He has started just once in the Premier League this season, and even that ended after 55 minutes as he was hauled off in the 3-0 defeat to former club Arsenal.
The 29-year-old is likely to be pursued by a number of Italian sides, such was the case in the summer. AC Milan in particular were quite active in trying to lure Fabregas to the San Siro, so that could become an option once again – especially given the fact that Milan captain Riccardo Montolivo is likely be out for the rest of the season and that the Rossoneri have found themselves well in the hunt for a Champions League place.
A potential stumbling block would be Fabregas’s wages – believed to be in excess of £150,000 per week – but the report claims that Chelsea would be inclined to pay a percentage of the midfielder’s salary to help the process along.
That the club are only looking at a loan deal for now suggests that Fabregas may still have a future at Chelsea, but with Conte slowly becoming wedded to the 3-4-3 formation – and doubts remaining about the player’s suitability in that set-up – it would appear that a temporary deal in January would only be delaying the inevitable.