Often Partisan

Fabbrini Deal Snag?

Reports from the north-east have suggested that Diego Fabbrini’s potential move to Birmingham City isn’t as cut and dried as may have been reported elsewhere.

GazetteLive.co.uk reports that Boro still hold the cards as to what happens to the 25-year-old Italian’s future. Middlesbrough signed the Italian on a season-long loan from Watford, paying a reported £1million loan fee in the process and thus Watford cannot recall the player without the acquiescence of Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka.

Boro are believed to be holding out on letting Fabbrini go until they can bring their own replacement in.

This has in turn held up any move for Andy Shinnie from Blues to Rotherham on loan with Rowett loath to let go of any player without the replacement being signed first. The illness suffered by Jacques Maghoma in addition to Shinnie being left out resulted in Blues with just 17 players considered for selection by Gary Rowett, allowing Charlee Adams to make his league debut as an injury-time substitute.

Fabbrini made five appearances on loan for Blues last season and was the subject of a loan bid from Blues in the summer


106 Responses to “Fabbrini Deal Snag?”

  • OllieBluenose says:

    It’s like the housing market… I’d expect this one to go through on deadline day or not at all.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    The one thing I notice about Fabbrini, is that he’s becoming a bit of a nomad. If he joins, we would be the 9th club he’s played for in 7 years. I wonder why with every club that buys/loans him he drops down the pecking order after a while (except at his first club, Empoli.)

  • Ken says:

    Not sure it’s a “snag”…this would have been known from the outset and factored into the chain of events that need to happen to make this deal go through. Whether or not the Fabbrini deal does go through, it is a statement of intent and Im sure GR has other tagets

  • Dare says:

    It would be the same if some one came in for toral
    They have to find someone else if not I think the deal
    Will be off. If this deal is not done by Wednesday then
    I think we should move on because time is running out

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Could he not be signed on loan for the rest of the season, with a view to a permanent in the summer.. or do they just want rid now for a price?

    • almajir says:

      Still down to Boro to let him go. That’s the hold up.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        Yeah, that’s true.

      • Waycoolblue says:

        Would Boro really want to hold on to a player that wants out when he ant even their player. It would make him resentful he could kick up a fuss and refuse to play for them. If the offer as been excepted by Watford and the player want to go. Then Boro should show some good will and let him go not yous him as power holding for something to nothing.

        • Phileni says:

          This is it, with Boro’s form flagging, do they want to allow a player who they obviously once thought was good enough to help gain promotion, join a team bang in form and being recognised as a serious contender.

          I think if Boro were running away with it, this deal might have happened last week. I honestly believe there is an anxiousness from Boro towards the possibility of Blues climbing further up the table.

        • ChrisG says:

          You have to see it from Boro’s point of view, imagine we play them in the play off final & he scores the winning goal for us, it’s gonna make a lot of people at Boro unhappy. It’s not just a case of them letting him go because they aren’t using him, they have to decide whether to let him go to a promotion rival.

          • Shirley Blue says:

            I think you may have hit the nail on the head. Also if they have paid a £1m loan fee I would imagine they want some of it back from Watford from the sale proceeeds. That is a lot of money for a player we have bid £1.5m for. They might as well have just bought him in the summer.

  • Pods says:

    Good call Staffs.
    If we allow this to run to the wire, we may loose out all together.
    I wonder what alternatives there are, what about Seb Larson, cannot get a look in at Sunderland.#KRO

  • PeteB says:

    I don’t think this is a snag. They are after Ross McCormack so will naturally wait until that’s done before getting rid of Fabbrini. If there was a release clause and we didn’t have to wait for Boro, he’d be here already.

    He’s not getting much game time at Boro and if they are bringing in more players in his position, I can’t see why they want to keep him.

    • Phileni says:

      Maybe part of the reluctance (for Karanka to release Fabs) is the emergence of Blues as a contender.

      I’m not sure I buy into that they wantt to wait ro McCormack as he is a centre forward. If theyre planning on signing McCormack, for the kind of fee its going to be, to play him in the number 10 role, good luck to them.

      He is one of the best centre forwards if not the best in the league and to not play to his strengths would be laughable.

      Unless of course he just wants a certain number of forward players rather than a like for like replacement.

      I’m sure Boro must have at least an eye on Blues as a danger.

      Would we let Shins go to Rotherham if we were in a relegation scrap with them?

  • Ken says:

    I dont think Boro want to keep him…but they do want a replacement first. Also, of course, they paid Watford £1m for a season long loan fee…if they allow the agreement to finish early they will almost certainly want some of that back from Blues and/or Watford. Another complication

  • Stan Moye says:

    Rest assured Boro will make sure the situation suits them before agreeing to release Fabbrini, not potentially strengthen a rivals squad. If they get one of there targets l’m sure this will get done. In the worst case scenario GR will have a private deadline and contingency plan in place, l hope.

  • Phileni says:

    Personally, after the focus we put on signing Fabs in the summer and the frustrations around it, I would have thought if this was looking not possible, GR would have drawn a line under it and rejected the rumours and moved on by now.

    I think GR is quietly confident of this going through as surely he would step on the same doggy doo twice.

    Aitor Karanka has held the Joker on this potential move ever since the rumours were being banded out as there is no release clause in the deal. They’ve paid a fee for the season which also means some reimbursement will be required. These are all issues that weve known and GR would have been aware of, which shows there must be some positive sounds coming from Watford and Boro or else GR is going out of his way to bark up the wrong tree.

    Snags no, but pre-identified difficulties yes indeed.

  • Phileni says:

    wouldnt step on the same doggy doo twice

  • Jarthur says:

    Watford have previous on this they ended his load to Millwall last season for him to come to us. He’s not Middlesbrough’s player so Watford hold all the ace’s so long as they have the break clause in the terms of the loan, which I would be very surprised if they hadn’t.
    My view for what it’s worth is Middlesbrough don’t want to buy him but don’t really want to let him go until they have a replacement in. Watford want to sell now to make use of the finance in this window. It will happen by the end of this week!

  • andy says:

    Thing is wasn’t Fabbrini completely left out of the Boro squad on Saturday? This would certainly set off reports that a move to Birmingham was imminent

  • The club has had three weeks to find out if fab can come or not , meanwhile other good players are being whoo’d if we can’t get fab perhaps Buckley on a permanent deal , kro

  • DaveP says:

    I’d rather not spend the money on Fabbrini and try and con Wenger into letting us have Toral with a sell-on fee attached in the summer instead.

    • jonno11blue says:

      Totally agree. Instead of wasting money on Fabrini we should be in discussions with Arsenal about a permanent transfer of Toral. With all players I don’t think he’d get into Arsenal’s first team but he’ll soon be attracting attention from other Premier League teams. Get Toral and even Buckley signed up.
      For me Fabrini didn’t do much last season

  • Steve in Yorkshire says:

    Boro have been looking at Matt Phillips too. I certainly think they will wait for at least one of these deals to be completed then Fabbrini will return. Most deals will be pending other clubs making decisions to buy or sell, it’s always the same this is why I don’t understand fans’ frustrations. action generally comes towards the end when clubs buckle and pay asking prices or let unhappy players get their way… The only difference here is we are aware of the chain of events due to Fabbrini being on loan elsewhere.

  • Dave says:

    Is anyone else feeling like I do a little underwhelmed at this news I feel like a jilted bride he chose Boro over us in the summer and now he isn’t a regular we are of interest to him doesn’t sound to me like he will meet Gary’s requirement of fitting in with the team ethic I’ll get me tin hat

    • Phileni says:

      Dave I’m not 100% sure on this but maybe Dan can shed some light, but surely Fabbrini didnt pick them over us, would we have been in a position to pay £1m to rent a player at the beginning of the season. Im not convinced we would have had an offer accepted for the player to then turn down.

      I hope I’m right becasue as you say, this adds another dimension and we never like to take someone who has previously snubbed us!

  • andy says:

    I would much rather keep Toral but I think Birmingham would at least have to win promotion to have any chance of signing the kid, he is destined for big things. The Fabbrini situation could come down to the player. Reports say that he is unhappy at Boro and what point is there keeping him if he wants a move to Birmingham? This will come down to Boro receiving some kind of compensation if they shelled out a £1 million loan fee.

  • Errol says:

    He could have singed in the summer As mentioned in previous post Why so many clubs?

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Exactly what I said earlier. Fabbrini should fit easily into both Watford’s and Middlesborough’s free-flowing, attacking football… but, for some reason, it seems that he doesn’t. He’s played about 160 games for 8 clubs in 7 years. He’s got good feet and a few tricks.. but obviously that isn’t enough for his recent managers. It begs the question why?

      I’m neutral on whether he comes in or not.. but I think we need to be sure before we splash out £1m+.

      • Pods says:

        Again I agree with Staffs.
        Enough said about Fabbrini there are better players available out there. I trust Gary is not just looking at this player.
        As I said earlier what about Sen Larsen.

      • ChrisG says:

        I would rather GR concentrate on finding a left back, I know Grounds has played better of late but is that because it’s the transfer window & he doesn’t want to lose his place?

  • Steve in Yorkshire says:

    Unless we are losing Toral then he just gives us that something extra in those typical games we don’t have enough spark or creativity. particularly at home when we are dead, I would rather bring him on to lift the crowd at 0-0 than Shinnie, no disrespect to him. He is just a little better and takes pressure off Toral who up until the last few weeks as very hot and cold, generally disappointing when starting games. If he comes on or Toral does and nicks a win meanng the extra points that get us in the play offs or better, it is £1M well spent!

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I think that’s how he’d be best used.. coming on when a little trick or a flick is needed to open a team up. But would he want to come and sit on the bench?

      • ChrisG says:

        Doubt it staffs, but we know what systems GR prefers & maybe he’s thinking of playing him in a 4-1-4-1 or 4-2-3-1 or even 4-3-3, but whatever GR does I think he’s gonna give himself a headache with so many midfielders to keep happy

        • StaffsBlue says:

          Our midfielders, Gleeson, Kieftenbeld, Buckley, Toral, Maghoma are all playing well, Davis too and young Viv. Then there’s Cotterill and Arthur to come back… Charlee Adams has had a taste now too.

          Whichever system he uses, who are you going to drop?

          • ChrisG says:


          • Shirley Blue says:

            Cotterill and Arthur have had constant injury problems this season. Buckley is only on a months loan at the moment. Very early days for Adams and probably VSO if we are going for promotion. Kieftenbeld is playing with a hip problem. We might not be able to get Toral for next season. We are also going to be hit by suspensions soon as the bookings add up.
            GR had a good chance to see what Fabbrini was like last season as a player and person and obviously liked what he saw and I think we should trust his judgement. He is the sort of player who will create excitement and get people coming to games.
            There are potentially 21 games still to go this season if we can get in the play offs so we are likely to need every player we can get especially good ones,
            You have said you are neutral about Fabbrini coming but all your posts on the subject seem very much against it,

          • StaffsBlue says:

            What I mean is, if Fabbrini comes in tomorrow… would you start him on Saturday and if so, who would you leave out?

            .. and yes, I am neutral, I’m also cautious about spending over a million quid on one player, unless he’s really worth it. I think it’s a valid point SB.

          • Tony says:

            Gleeson of course

          • BhamCityJulian says:

            Leave out Davis of course

  • .KC says:

    Still amazed at some of the negatives on Fabbrini. I could not care how many clubs he has been with He did enough when he was here last time to demonstrate ability to go round defenders, add a different dimension, spread the ball around, genuine flair and creativity etc etc. As ever trust GR with his judgement (with the odd exception) to manage and get the best out of him.
    If it happens in January great, but if not then it’s not the end of the world. Certainly based on how we are looking at the moment. Might be easier to pick him up in the Summer direct from Watford if he is genuinely now keen to return to the Blues. Cannot see any comparison with Larsen. Quality for the Blues but a different type of player.
    Would like to think we could hold on to Toral at least for another season. He has also had his “critics” at times earlier in the season but for me has generally oozed pure class and quality from day one when he walked on to the pitch.
    Wishful thinking but would love to see them both permanently on the books. Cannot see Wenger agreeing on that point though!

    • Richard Granfield says:

      I agree. Every player has strong points and limitations. We have witnessed Diego’s strong points and they are just what the team needs. Any limitations can be covered by less skilful team members.

      • Hillfield Blues says:

        Agree on both your comments.Fabrini is just the sort we need especially at home to unlock teams that park the bus.
        As far as Boro digging their heels in are concerned you can’t blame them.I would do exactly the same and make sure I had a replacement in before agreeing to let him go although I think we’ll get him sooner or later.

        • StaffsBlue says:

          Well, if it’s later than 7 days, there will only be the loan window left.

          • Hillfield Blues says:

            Even if it were to be a loan till the end of the season it wouldn’t be a disaster as we could get him in the summer.Decent loan signings who have something to prove like Buckley or Fabrini are not such a bad thing at this stage of the season. I wouldn’t mind Fabrini on a permanent though as he is proven and a class above for me.

    • Shirley Blue says:

      I don’t get it either. What a cracking player to have at our club.

  • Mitchell says:

    I would keep Shinnie and splash out on a decent CH and possible LB. We have enough decent players to compete for promotion with excellent back ups in VSO,Adams and Vaughan- together with Cotterill and BM. Quite capable of narrow victories provided we keep the defence tight.

  • Dave Mann says:

    I would settle for Fabbrini , a centre half and a left back then it’s all systems go for the playoffs . KRO

  • Agent McLeish says:

    Plenty of fish in the sea if this deal fails. I’m sure GR has a plan B.

  • Blues are getting less shots at goal and on target than other teams fabbrini could bring pace passing ability and dribbling ability to take the ball into the final third , more shots all round , Rotherham want shinnie , that money could finance compensation to boro if shinnie is OK with that ,kro

  • Gary R says:

    This week is a massive week for Blues, and one that has a few consequences I feel depending on what way the chips fall.

    Firstly, I feel if we don’t add a couple of players by the weekend, we’ll struggle to maintain this current form and struggle to make it into the Play-offs, especially as I believe others around us will strengthen again. I also feel disappointment/anger will spill over if signings aren’t made, seeing as we’ve got an opportunity now and we don’t want to waste it, plus the promise (if you can call it that) of adding to the squad and then, once again, failing.

    I understand Blues aren’t “flush with cash”, but, despite this, I feel we’re not the best at getting deals “over the line” – it’s always too much of a hard slog in my eyes. Again I understand GR wants to bring in the right players, but you see other clubs, even those with resources on a similar level to ours and at clubs below us in the league pyramid, apparently able to secure deals pretty efficiently. I just feel we feel short in this respect at times.

    Hopefully we’re not disappointed, because I’ll certainly be if by this time next week we have no further additions.

    If Fab fails, then surely there will be Plan B, C, and D, and with 1.5 million apparently available (if reports are correct and that’s how much Fab will sign for), then perhaps this can be used toward a decent CB, or another attacking player on the same level as Fab.

    This reminds me a little bit like the Tesche deal – all lined up, player happy, Club happy, blah blah blah, then other club pulls plug at last minute. Granted, slightly different, but it’s another deal that’s on the “brink” of being completed, but just a little annoying glitch at the end.

    Let’s cross fingers and hope that this week will be the week that’s a turning point in the season and helps us into those Play-off spots.

    • ChrisG says:

      Gary, I don’t see any reason why we can’t maintain our current form, the players are fit so I can’t see tiredness being a problem, we went out of both cups early so we won’t have played too many games, of course we will lose a few but we have a habit of bouncing back. I think the fans would be more angry about the lack of signings if we were hovering around the relegation zone. Keep the faith mate i’m certain this will be a good season so much so this morning I put a tenner on us getting promoted at odds of 10/1. KRO

      • StaffsBlue says:

        We only have 5 midweek games left this season, so, like you, I can’t see fitness or tiredness being a factor.. only injuries and suspensions and other than Kieftenbeld and Gleeson, our disciplinary record is pretty good this season.

  • AdamTrueBlue says:

    Reading one of the fan zones, Wolves fans were moaning about us being linked to Fabrinni saying they could do with him. Kro

  • Why have we around five players on lone out there,or on loan when we need money for players , or why aren’t we loaning them out to the end of December with a chance of renewal if a deal is not done with them in the window ,.to cover for players bought or to be sold to make money up for a new player,…KRO

  • I remember one player saying in the season that we were in the Europa cup that the players are coping with all the games that we were playing , and we did play some games that season , you just ease off in training that was Steve coppell,s idea , clever manager Steve , missed in football .I think we RAN on the dream that season. …kro

  • David L says:

    One of the things that’s worrying me about the Fab situation is that it all seems to be out in the public gaze.

    I think GR’s best deals have been sprung on us as a surprise – and if we haven’t got the player that Gary was going for, no-one’s any the wiser, no-one’s any the sadder.

    With this situation, it seems clear what we want and if, as is possible, we don’t get then there’s been heartache for nowt.

    Mind you when you see the crazy money that other teams in the division are paying for players of modest talent – well again, you have to feel good about Gary’s dealings.

  • andy says:

    The fact remains that Fabbrini wants a move to Birmingham and has made that clear to Boro, Watford are happy with the fee so I cannot see this falling through, if the boot was on the other foot, I would want rid of a loan player that wants out, I can only imagine Boro want compensation for the loan fee they paid Watford and this is holding up the transfer

  • Mitchell says:

    I notice Wolves have lost two further players to injury for many months. This could be the sudden interest in Fabbrini and expected signing of Agbonlahor. Similar situation at Leeds-they have got Brentford midfielder Diagoura who is a class act. Money talks here and results in quick over the line deals. We still have to tread carefully and always hope we don’t get gazumped.

  • Dan Hickman says:

    I think Fabbrini would be a great signing. Although his goals/assists stats aren’t breathtaking, I think he creates space for others to play in, give the opposition something else to worry about. Toral does too but more with technical ability than being able to turn a defence around. The whole repaying a leap of faith thing carries a lot of weight imo, I think Rowett inspires that kind of loyalty and ethic in his players. Apart from Reece Brown of course… In all seriousness though, even if you just think about it in terms of swapping Shinnie for Fab, that improves the squad doesn’t it?!

    • Shirley Blue says:

      Fabbrini is at least one level above Shinnie in class. He is one of the best players I have seen at St Andrews since we got relegated playing for us and against us. I will be gutted if we don’t get him. He could play in the same team as Toral as he is more versatile – he could play wide or a bit deeper in a three man central midfield.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        Fabbrini is more than one level above Shinnie.

        • Dan Hickman says:

          He is worth Shinnie plus 1m, which is effectively how it works out. Just think with Donaldson, Vaughan, Buckley, Toral, Cotts, VSO, Maghoma and Fabbrini we would have two things, strength in depth AND flexibility to change shape, change tack and exploit teams weaknesses. Pace in abundance down the flanks and players who can come deep or play in and around Donaldson, finding space wherever it is on the pitch. Personally the thought of it excites me! If we can also add a little depth at the back then we will be flying!

    • .KC says:

      100% agree Dan.

  • matt says:

    Its actually Diego Fabbrini who will decide who he plays for! That’s football as we know it today gray wanted to play for leicester and off he went as an example!

    • Dan Hickman says:

      Not really, Boro probably have no long term interest in keeping him happy and have the money to let him play u 21 football all season just to spite him/us

      • Shirley Blue says:

        I said on Sunday that I hoped their two recent defeats wouldn’t put them off letting him go. They looked nailed on for automatic promotion a couple of weeks ago. They finish 3rd and we finish 6th and they get Fabbrini possibly playing twice against them in the semi-finals if he joined us,

        • Dave S says:

          I think we’re seeing a little over thinking here peeps, what will be will be, Fab will be here by the end of the week, ‘boro won’t worry too much about us, however much you’d like it to be true.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    @Tony. Drop Gleeson? Can’t see it mate. He’s the golden boy of midfield. I can’t remember if he’s been dropped under Rowett. I think he’s only missed about six games and they’ve been through injury, suspension or illness. I could be wrong though.

    • Acocks blue says:

      Only reason he ain’t been dropped is because we don’t have another creative centre mid. We have kieftenbald and Davis who are both in the same mold. People are banging on about swapping fabrini for toral. My personal view is I would like to see them both in the middle unlocking defences with thier skill, passing and turn of pace and

      also drawing in defenders creating space for the wingers and the Don.

  • Stan drews says:

    Fabs will be a great signing for Blues, I just hope that we can pull it off.

  • Mitchell says:

    Anyone feeling a little twitchy about Derby? In freefall and Clement on the edge.

  • Andrew says:

    attack is the best form of defence and to have a player like fabrini gives our defender the type of respite it needs during games

  • atko says:

    These so called delays are probably why other reports were already reporting Fabrini is expected to sign for Blues in the next 48 hours. The reports from the north east are probably a bit slow on the uptake.

  • Pete says:

    Would be interesting to see results of a poll- who would people like to see on number 10 role Toral or Fabrinni?

    We don’t need to spend £1.5m on a benchwarmer when money could be used elsewhere, so who do we think would be best?

  • bhamcityjulian says:

    If you buy a jigsaw puzzle the loose pieces do not include the last piece. There are two sealed envelopes. One is in English and says ‘Final Piece’ ; the other is is Spanish and say ‘Asprilla’. Football folk there know that the Asprilla piece does fit and if you persist in trying the entire jigsaw just fall apart.

    Beware that Birmingham might be about to produce their own jigsaw will a ‘Fabrinni’ piece.

  • bhamcityjulian says:

    If you buy a jigsaw puzzle in NEWCASTLE the loose pieces do not include the last piece. There are two sealed envelopes. One is in English and says ‘Final Piece’ ; the other is is Spanish and say ‘Asprilla’. Football folk there know that the Asprilla piece does fit and if you persist in trying the entire jigsaw just fall apart.
    Beware that Birmingham might be about to produce their own jigsaw will a ‘Fabrinni’ piece.

  • Mark H says:

    Well Boro have just signed playmaker Gaston Ramirez on loan from Southampton, so could Fabbrini join today? Let’s hope so!

  • David myers says:

    i would like to see Fanbrini back good player i think it would a good partnership between Fanbrini and toral well have the best midfield team with cos i saw it in the mail and Fanbrini move is getting closer and like gary rowett said he be confident to clench Fanbrini for there match at Bristol city who knows we could sign Fanbrini this week if not it could be next week kro playoffs here we come

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