Emirates outfit ready for yet another Catalan offer.
A succession of the Spanish champions’ players – including captain Carles Puyol, defender Gerard Pique and Lionel Messi – have gone public to fuel speculation that Fabregas, who left Catalunya for London as a 16 year-old, wishes to return to the club he supported as a child.
Barcelona have already had one bid, worth around £30 million, rejected by Arsenal and have dismissed suggestions that their new president, Sandro Rosell, would travel to London today to present a second offer of £38 million. Instead, the Catalan side insist they are determined to maintain “good relations” with Fabregas’s current employers.
“Relations exist,” said Barcelona’s sporting vice-president, Josep Maria Bartolomeu. “But we want them to be good. We are not in a phase of negotiation, only a phase of relationship building. Once we have done that, we will see if there is a chance to start negotiations to sign him.”
Arsenal have made it clear several times they will not countenance any offers for their captain, and manager Arsène Wenger insisted over the weekend that he had informed Fabregas he “will remain” in London.
Bartolomeu’s insistence that “until Aug 31 [the close of the transfer window], all possible signings remain open” though, suggests Barcelona are confident of striking a deal despite Arsenal’s hard-line stance.
Sources believe Barcelona, who stand more than £400 million in debt and were forced to seek a loan to pay players’ wages last month, have around £45 million set aside to sign Fabregas.
The player said he hoped to leave Arsenal at the start of the summer but has since suggested he would be happy to remain in England. (Daily Telegraph)
This will run and run all the way until the end of August and regardless of Barcelona’s reported intentions to maintain good relations with the north London club they still repeatedly attempt to unsettle a contracted player.
The amount of money the La Liga club offers is immaterial at this stage, there best hope is that Fabregas puts in a transfer request, then they may have a chance of snapping up the Emirates skipper. In today’s inflated transfer market even a bid of £45m may not be enough anyway.
The 23 year old has offered some mixed messages on the subject of his future and this helps give the Catalan club the confidence to continue in their mission to re-sign their former youth player. The talented midfielder could helpfully end this speculation by simply stating that he has no plans to leave the north London club, instead of stating that sometime in the future he wants to return to Barcelona.