HEARTBREAKING: Arsenal Set To Lose Out On Fabregas Switch.

Barcelona are prepared to sell their Spain ­international for £30million and he is set to return to the Premier League and league champions; City as well as Chelsea have emerged as Arsenal’s biggest rivals in the struggle to land the 26-year-old.

Fabregas is set to leave Barcelona for £30million but has been disappointed to find no interest yet from his former club Arsenal.

Chelsea and Manchester City are both keen but the Blues have emerged as the front-runners in the chase to bring Cesc Fabregas back to English football.

Jose Mourinho is reportedly pushed to move for the ex-Arsenal captain on the back of long time midfielder; Frank Lampard joining New York City in the MLS, and Mourinho wants to replace his goals, forward thrust and creativity amid the midfield muscle of Nemanja Matic and Ramires.

Although Chelsea were initially keen on landing Atletico Madrid’s Koke this summer but this interest has been put to a somewhat halt after finding out that the player is seriously wanted by Barcelona to replaced Fabregas.

Paulinho, from Tottenham, and Paul Pogba, from Juventus, are others who have been linked with moves to Stamford Bridge but the appeal of Fabregas is his instant availability. And a deal could even be forced through before the World Cup according to Daily Mail.

The 27-year-old Spain international is proven in the Barclays Premier League after eight years at Arsenal, where signed as a 16-year-old and progressed to be the captain before returning to Barcelona in 2011.

Arsene Wenger, with the promise of Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere in midfield, has yet to show any interest in re-signing his former skipper. But it is expected that a bid from any of Chelsea and City will spark Arsenal into action.

Manchester City, meanwhile, are desperate not to lose unsettled midfielder Yaya Toure and an early summer swoop for Fabregas would do little to assure the sensitivities of the Ivorian, who was upset when the club failed to honour his birthday.

Another reason Fabregas appeals to City is that he would boost their quota of home-grown players, qualifying for that category as he was developed at Arsenal.

He is good value for a world-class player, his £100,000-a-week wages at the Nou Camp less than half what City pay unsetttled Yaya Toure.

Arsenal however, still remain favourites to land Cesc as the Gunners can make use of the sell-on clause included in the deal that saw their former captain move to Barca three years ago.

They Gunners also have first refusal on buying Fabregas, get a huge chunk of any profit Barca make if he goes elsewhere and are a big emotional pull for the player.

He has always said he wants to return to Arsenal and has a close ­relationship with boss Wenger.

But the problem for Wenger is his priority is a defensive midfielder. But if City do bid on Fabregas then Arsenal may make a move feeling it is too good an opportunity to pass up.

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