Moyes' joy of Cesc

Posted by Mark Payne

Cesc Fabregas GettyImagesCesc Fabregas has failed to win a regular starting spot at Barca

David Moyes certainly hasn't wasted any time. His contract at Manchester United doesn't start until July 1, but as news emerges that the Red Devils have made enquiries over the availability of Cesc Fabregas, it seems the Scot is attempting to construct his team already.

Fabregas returned to Barcelona in 2011 as a favourite son who had been dearly missed. The move ended several years of speculation and seemed like a perfect fit at the time. In reality, Fabregas was put into direct competition with some of the best midfielders in history, Xavi and Andres Iniesta, and has struggled to hold down a place.

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Barca are still deciding what to do next with a signing that has been a relative failure and United, who have lacked established quality in midfield for some time, are looking to capitalise on the situation.

Although Michael Carrick and Tom Cleverley performed admirably in the recent title-winning campaign, neither provides the sumptuous quality Fabregas is capable of. Moyes also will be aware how Carrick was completely overrun in two Champions League finals against Barcelona.

United's midfield is more threadbare than usual, with Paul Scholes retired and Darren Fletcher still unwell, with no comeback in sight. Anderson has had his sixth disappointing season on the trot and Nani continues to frustrate. They could both be sold.

Wayne Rooney was played in central midfield several times toward the end of last season and showed glimpses of great vision from his deeper role on the pitch. However, it is unclear at this stage whether he will be continuing at United and the rumours regarding Fabregas could have him shifting uncomfortably in his seat.

At Arsenal, Fabregas captained the side with distinction and has the kind of thrusting personality that can drive games forward. He has the requisite quality to thrive at United and would no doubt link up well with former teammate Robin van Persie. Arsene Wenger is unlikely to be happy at that possibility and with Arsenal believed to have first refusal on Fabregas, he could yet throw a spanner in the works of any potential deal.

A fee of £25 million has been mooted for Fabregas, but his Barca teammate Thiago Alcantara could be available for much less. The La Masia graduate's buyout clause has decreased from €90 million to only €18 million due to Barca failing to use him for the required 60 percent of playing time this season. The youngster would be another good option.

But there is no doubt that Fabregas would be welcomed by the United supporters and he represents the kind of big-name signing that fans crave. There is the possibility, however, that this is all a ruse to flush out Rooney's intentions. Either way, it appears that Manchester United's new manager is on the job already. And that can only be a good thing.

Follow Mark on www.twitter.com/markjpayne

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