Window Watch: Fabregas move puts Oscar future in doubt

Goal's weekly column looks at the latest in the transfer market, including Filipe Luis's impending move to Stamford Bridge and the future of Adam Lallana and Loic Remy

Chelsea are renowned for their transfer market decisiveness and the €35 million purchase of Cesc Fabregas was the latest demonstration of their willingness to act quickly to steal a march on their rivals.

There was much gnashing of teeth from Arsenal fans that their former skipper and talisman has moved to west London and not back to north London.

Yet Fabregas' decision is understandable when placed in the context of Barcelona's desire to cash in on a player who frees up funds to accelerate a much-needed reshaping of their squad, Arsene Wenger's €31m value of a 27-year-old who he believes to have already peaked and the key role the Spaniard has to play at Stamford Bridge next season.

On paper, Fabregas is in direct competition with Oscar, who has mixed moments of magic with some medicore displays during his two seasons at the club.

Intriguingly, Jose Mourinho is believed to have assured Fabregas of a regular starting role, with the Spaniard earmarked for the playmaker role behind imminent striker signing Diego Costa.

This is the kind of faith Fabregas was denied at Camp Nou, where he was frequently shunted to positions that were not ideally suited to him.

At Chelsea, Eden Hazard, Oscar, Willian, Andre Schurrle, Mohamed Salah and Ramires all offer enticing possibilities for the attacking midfield roles but the latest marquee Blues signing will be given plenty of opportunity to prove that his vision, speed of thought and technical virtuosity are ideally suited to the quicker and less tactical English game.

Mourinho spoke on Friday of Fabregas' knowledge of the Premier League and his ability to seamlessly thrive in the division where he spent eight years before returning to boyhood club Barca.

Ultimately, this raises questions about the long-term future of Oscar, who is attracting strong interest from Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus.

The word at Stamford Bridge is that Chelsea could be open to a sale if a club comes closing to matching their €50m valuation.

OSCAR ON THE WAY OUT? | The Brazil international has caught the eye of both PSG and Juventus


Senior Chelsea officials no doubt have their Atletico Madrid counterparts on speed dial given the negotiations involved in the Diego Costa, Filipe Luis and Thibaut Courtois deals over recent months.

Costa's €43.7m move to Stamford Bridge is finalised, while Courtois has ended his three-year loan spell at Atletico after being told he is in line to take the No.1 spot from Petr Cech next season.

Luis is on the brink of becoming the third of Diego Simeone's title-winners to switch to Chelsea, with talks over a €26.2m move now at an advanced stage.

The Brazilian is earmarked for the senior left-back role at Stamford Bridge next season, ahead of the impressively versatile Cesar Azpilicueta.

Yet the Spain international remains prominent in Mourinho's thinking and is expected to regularly fill in at both right-back and left-back in the second season of the Portugese's second spell at the club.


Southampton refused to grant Adam Lallana his wish of a move to Liverpool before they had a new manager in place.

But the combination of Ronald Koeman's appointment at St Mary's Stadium and Lallana's return to England next week should accelerate the 26-year-old's departure from the club he joined as a 12-year-old.

The Saints skipper has made it clear to his club that he wants to join Liverpool. In turn, the Southampton hierarchy are demanding a €37.5m fee for a player who was so impressive last season.

Liverpool do not want to pay more than €31m for the attacking midfielder and, with negotiations expected to increase upon England's World Cup exit, attention will centre upon reaching a compromise.

Liverpool believe Lallana's desire to move to Anfield strengthens their bargaining power, although the submission of a transfer request is considered a last resort given the four years remaining on his contract and the accompanying bonuses he would lose if he formalised his intent to leave.

LIVERPOOL'S LIONS LINE-UP | Lallana could link up with England team-mate Daniel Sturridge next term


Barely a week goes by without Arsenal being linked with a move for QPR striker Loic Remy.

The reasons are obvious. Remy provides the mobility and finishing power up front that the Gunners so obviously lack, while his relatively low €11 million release clause is not too prohibitive even for a manager of Arsene Wenger's innate transfer market caution.

The Frenchman has held talks with Tottenham but is holding out for north London neighbours Arsenal to demonstrate concrete interest.

It is not currently forthcoming. Remy is not regarded as a priority signing by Wenger, who is looking to recruit a marquee striker who can fit in with his team's fluid playing style as well as score 25 goals a season.

A move for Remy later in the window cannot be ruled out, but at the moment Arsenal are concentrating on recruiting a forward in the €37.5m bracket.