Could Cesc Fabregas and Marouane Fellaini be lining up in a new-look Manchester United midfield next season?
The Red Devils made a surprise bid for Barcelona playmaker Fabregas on Monday, and are waiting to hear if the €30 million they offered will be enough to prise him away from the Camp Nou.
Publicly, Barca maintain that Fabregas is “not transferable”, and the player is understood to have been caught off guard by United’s official approach.
But it could be that he considers a return to the English Premier League, should Barca boss Tito Vilanova indicate he is not a central part of his plans for the future.
The fact that United have only bid €1 million more than Barca paid to sign Fabregas from Arsenal in 2011 betrays the frustration he has largely suffered since his emotional return home as a prodigal son.
While he may have added to the trophy haul that was so lacking during his time at the Emirates, a starring role for Barca has eluded Cesc, and he may be tempted to step back into the limelight in the football environment where he first gained ascendancy.
Any move to United could be scuppered by the Gunners however, who retain first refusal on Fabregas after selling him to United, and a second prodigal return- this time to the Emirates- does have a certain romance about it.
Meanwhile, if Fabregas is to add panache to David Moyes’ midfield, Belgian international Fellaini could be the one to add strength, guile, height and nuisance factor.
Moyes brought Fellaini to England with Everton, and knows that his contract expires in 2016, and has a £23 million release clause.
He is thought to believe that the rough-around-the-edges midfielder can be refined into a world beater in the rarefied air of the Theatre of Dreams.
Everton however, remain determined to retain the services of their mop-headed Belgian battler, and like they did when United came knocking for Leighton Baines, they will surely demand a princely sum for Fellaini, or will slam the door in the Red Devils’ face.
A double swoop for Fabregas and Fellaini would make for an intriguing selection dilemma for Moyes.
Paul Scholes was almost a combination Fellaini and Fabregas, but he is gone. And now players like Anderson, Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley and Shinji Kagawa will be anxiously scanning the headlines to see if they will have more top quality pretenders to their thrones next season.
Would Fabregas and Fellaini make a good Red Devils duo?