Mid-Day Ticker: Fabregas to Barcelona, Caribbean officials investigated & more

Fabregas (Reuters Pictures)

Cesc Fabregas is returning to Barcelona. Really.

The long-awaited transfer of Fabregas from Arsenal to Barcelona is on the verge of completion, according to various reports in both England and Spain, although the signing is not official as of yet.

Fabregas and Samir Nasri were left off the roster for Arsenal's Premier League opener this weekend against Newcastle, lending more credence to the reports that both players are set to sign elsewhere. While Fabregas seems destined to join his hometown club, where he participated in the youth academy before signing with Arsenal, Nasri appears headed to Manchester City.

Here are a few more stories from around the soccer world:

CARIBBEAN OFFICIALS UNDER INVESTIGATION

FIFA's ethics committee is looking into the actions of 16 Caribbean soccer officials in connection to former executive committee member Mohamed bin Hammam and the bribery scandal that got him banned from FIFA for life.

Bin Hammam was found guilty of bribing the officials for votes in the FIFA presidential election. He ended up withdrawing from the race but not after allegedly paying officials for their support during May meetings in Trinidad and Tobago.

WEST BROM GIVES HARGREAVES OFFER

Oft-injured Owen Hargreaves has a chance to rebuild his career at West Brom if he so chooses.

The Premier League club offered the 30-year-old Hargreaves a contract after he passed a physical. Plagued by knee injuries for a number of years, Hargreaves was let go by Manchester United after last season.

PARK TO STAY WITH UNITED THROUGH 2013

MLS All-Star Game MVP Park Ji-sung has signed a contract extension with Manchester United that will keep him at Old Trafford through 2013.

The South Korean midfielder has been with the club since 2005 and has scored 24 goals while playing key roles in important games over the years.

WOMEN'S STAR PRINZ RETIRES

Germany women's national team legend Birgit Prinz retired on Friday, ending a standout career during which she won two World Cups and scored a record-tying 14 World Cup goals.

Prinz started the first two games for Germany during this past summer's World Cup but didn't appear in the final group game of the quarterfinal in which the hosts fell to eventual champion Japan.

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What do you think of the Fabregas saga finally coming to an end? What do you make of more CONCACAF officials being under investigation? Do you think Hargreaves should join West Brom? Think Park will play a big role for United this season? Where do you rank Prinz among all-time women's soccer players?

Share your thoughts below.

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29 Responses to Mid-Day Ticker: Fabregas to Barcelona, Caribbean officials investigated & more

  1. Fernando Gingerbread says:

    Countdown: 5 years until Barca want Toral back… 8 years before they get him

  2. emt says:

    I just hope the Gunners can get RVP to sign a new contract. And with Cesc gone, Aaron Ramsey is gonna have to step up, which he has shown that he is capable of doing

  3. alex says:

    Ugh… Why does MC need Nasri again? I HATE their talent stockpiling ways. So many good players going to waste on the MC bench…

  4. NE Matt says:

    No Cesc, No Samir and an injured RVP? Add to that a non-proven GK, a questionable backline, and the added pressure on the young Wilshere, and a top 4 finish seems like it may be out of reach. I just don’t see Arsharvin and Rosicky picking up the slack

  5. CACuzcatlan says:

    It’s also the player’s fault for signing with MC. You can’t just blame City.

  6. J says:

    Why does Barcelona need Fabregas? It isn’t just City that does it smart guy.

  7. Welshbean says:

    I do the same thing in Fifa Soccer manager 11…I sign everyone so no one else has a chance to field them.

  8. marco says:

    Arsene now has the funds to purchase another Polish keeper.

  9. Tony in Quakeland says:

    At this point, I like Wilshire more than Fabergas. He is not the passer Fabergas is, but he’s more active, tougher and has a good sense of the attack. The Gunners need some bite, and he gives it to them while Fabergas does not.

    I like their other signings (as underwhelmed as thier fans claim to be), so if he now turns this money into some backline help and completes the transfers he has targeted, I think Arsenal will be in good shape.

  10. Alex says:

    No need for insulting intelligence. I didn’t say anything about you. I happen to disagree with any club that buys a player they have no need for other than depth. That’s modern football, the era of the superclubs, though. I know that. It’s still annoying. And City is just the worst perpetrator.

  11. Alex says:

    Upon reading that, it sounds stupid. Every club needs depth. But not the kind of depth City has.

  12. Ossington Mental Youth says:

    all big clubs do this, i dont like it either but its their perogative and it makes sense (for them, not necessarily the players)

  13. Alex says:

    That’s not any fun! I actually get excited when the other teams buy players- if you’re playing a bunch of teams that suck, how good are you really?

  14. J says:

    I agree that it is annoying, but it is also annoying hearing people whine about City as if they are the only club that does it. Why did Man U buy Young when they already had Valencia and Nani? Because they can. City is buying the players they want on their team and they haven’t been able to get rid of the ones they don’t want due to previous management. Their roster would look a lot more normal if players like Tevez, Adebayor, SWP, Bellamy all left.

  15. joseee says:

    Valdez
    Alves puyol pique eric
    Sergioo
    Xavi. Fabergas
    Messi villa inesta

  16. Eurosnob says:

    Tony, I like your optimism, but Nasri and Faberagas will be hard replace.

  17. timmytwoshoezzz says:

    Arsenal don’t need RVP to sign, they need a striker that actually plays. You know he’s appeared in less than 50% of his team’s matches right?

    Oh yea, they need another top fullback too. They’ve needed one for some time now. Guess who Arsene Wenger hasn’t brought in during the transfer window? Yep, no center back.

    I want Arsenal to succeed, but the reasons they don’t are pretty easy to find

  18. GBH says:

    real madrid is worst.

  19. Jon says:

    Arsenal absolutely need RVP to sign. Coming off the best year of his career in terms of production and fitness, it’d be madness to not consider him a lynchpin moving forward. I’m not arguing against getting backups and alternatives, but writing him off is nothing short of idiocy.

  20. Tony in Quakeland says:

    Fabergas was “gone” already. In the second leg of ther Champions League last year, I thought Fabergas was already playing for Barca.

    I’m more unhappy about Nasri. But Arsenal has added some good attacking players. IF (a big IF) Wenger turns around and spends the money on the targets he’s already identified, I think it’s a good off season.

    But when it comes down to it, I’d rather be optimistic. There’s time enough to be unhappy later if it doesn’t work out

  21. timmytwoshoezzz says:

    “best year of his career in terms of…fitness.”

    Which means he’s likely to return to his career average, which means more time on the sideline nursing some ankle or shin injury. Then Arsenal ends up playing a backup forward because they invested a bunch of money in a guy that trying to get fit by putting cow placenta on his hurt leg.

  22. Modibo says:

    Injured RVP? As if that’s a change this year?

  23. TimChappy says:

    Fabregas won’t start over Alexis Sanchez, Pedro, or Villa especially just to play Iniesta out of position. Fab was purchased to play back-up to the older more injury prone Xavi and Iniesta who has had his own injury problems as well. Barca know that in order to win the CL and La Liga again they need a proper back-up to Xavi and Iniesta unlike something they had 2 years prior. Thiago is good, but not ready to play in a CL semi-final or against Real madrid in a superclasico

  24. al17 says:

    The bias for English clubs in this thread is mind boggling. When they do it, it’s tolerated but when teams outside the EPL do it, then it’s another story.

    Bottomline in Fabrergas’s case is he wants to win a Champion’s League title and return to the team that help develop him as a player as well as go back home. How can you fault him for it? Hell, he’s even paying part for part of the deal to make it happen.

    Nasri is headed to City for the money. Again, how can you fault a guy for going to a place where he’s getting paid much more than at Arsenal and actually has a shot at winning?

    Arsenal has banked a ton of money over the past few years and do the best job of poaching young players from everywhere.

    I don’t feel sorry for them one bit. Spend a lil bit of coin and win something for crying out loud.

    Fabrergas is in Spain at the moment and is scheduled to be presented as a Barca player Monday.

  25. Modibo says:

    Well, it was good to know about the investigation of the Caribbean officials. I first heard about it yesterday, and I understand the probe concludes this afternoon, before FIFA’s internal statute of limitations expires.

    I’m kidding of course but I don’t expect anything serious to come of it. The “bad apples” have been identified, will be abused publicly by FIFA, and then we’ll be able to go back to speculating about FIFA corruption.

    If they do get pasted to the wall for target practice, though, it could mean a power shift in CONCACAF. Maybe Gulati goes for Warner’s job. Hah!

  26. Alex says:

    I mean, that could work, if you reshuffle that front three, with messi through the middle, villa down the left and iniesta right. Like Tim said though, I don’t see it happening. Iniesta is more influential from inside and Fab won’t displace either he or Xavi quite yet.

  27. strider says:

    There is a little more to this than just “stockpiling” players you “don’t need”. If ManU waits on Young two things can happen: 1) the price goes up before the “need” him or 2) a competitor picks up a young talented player that they then use against you.

    Another factor here is that you want to integrate players into your team and build a team concept. That’s easier to do by obtaining the player sooner rather than later.

  28. chris says:

    “Nasri is going to City for the money…” well, and maybe the chance to win something – lets not forget that Arsenal have won f-all since the 2005 FA Cup – the writing is on the wall for all Arsenal players, especially top ones. if they want to win, they will have to do it elsewhere. Especially if Wenger continues to fail to sign:

    1. a top drawer keeper. nuff said.

    2. a durable center back

    3. a class defensive mid.

    without these? sorry Gunners. no chance.

  29. jjraines says:

    Pretty outrageous that Fabregas — one of the best 15 players in the world — would go to Barcelona to just ride the pine. Then again, why is this happening? Why did both respective parties want this?

    And yeah, I know, it’s soccer heresy to say this — but I’d take Fabregas over either Xavi or Iniesta.