I had a dream.
Not that original an opening I know, but bear with me.
Why not loan the skipper to Barca for a year? That was essentially the nature of my nocturnal meandering. Now in the cold hard light of day that may look plainly absurd, but I assure you as it danced through my comatose grey cells last night it was perfect.
Cesc, only available to us for barely half of each of the last three seasons, gets to discover at first hand just how he would fit into the set-up at the Camp Nou. Understudy to Xavi, or adapted utility midfielder? The answer may turn him back to the club that made him.
Barca get to discover just why the proviso attached to the deal is that it’s £10m down and if you want to keep him at the end of the loan period, then you pay the balance of the £45m you know he is worth in today’s market. If not, you can tell him again why for the third summer running you won’t pay the fair market value to bring him back home.
Arsenal get a six figure weekly salary released to pay his replacement for a year, and avoid the humiliating acceptance of a below-market price for one of the world’s great players in this window, and all of the resulting furore. Chances are we’ll get him back next summer I suspect, and he will be less than gruntled with his hometown club.
I woke up before we knocked them out of the Champions League though, after a misplaced Cesc backheel put Robin clean through to strike the winner. Damn the alarm clock.
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