Fabregas frustrated by Real Madrid interest

Arsenal play Barcelona and their bitter rivals off against each other in an attempt to get £40m for Spanish midfielder

Arsenal have reluctantly told their captain Cesc Fabregas they are prepared to sell him but only for the right price and to whichever non-English club offers the most money as Real Madrid yesterday entered the picture.

Sources in Spain claim Fabregas is becoming increasingly frustrated with Arsenal's stance, having earlier in the summer been led to believe that his move to Barcelona would be sorted out before the start of pre-season training.

Fabregas, 24, reported at Arsenal's training ground in London Colney yesterday but did not join the rest of the first team for a double session of work. Instead he underwent strengthening work on a long-standing hamstring injury in the gym with his personal trainer.

Fabregas has already rebuffed tentative advances from Manchester City, having set his heart on a return to Barça, the club he left in controversial circumstances in 2003 at the age of 16.

Barcelona made an official bid of £27m two weeks ago, which was immediately rejected by the Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis, who values Fabregas at £40m. Arsenal are hoping that interest from Real Madrid will force Barcelona to increase their offer. Fabregas has ruled out moving to Madrid but Arsenal do not see why they should be forced to accept a lower offer from Barça if their Spanish rivals are prepared to pay more.

With Arsenal happy to play the two Spanish sides off against each other, Fabregas is left in limbo, hoping that Barcelona make a significantly improved offer and break the impasse.

A year ago, they failed with £29m and £31m bids for Fabregas, who decided to stay with Arsenal for one season, on the understanding that the club would not stand in his way again this summer. However Real's interest in Fabregas has altered the dynamic and swung the bargaining position back in Arsenal's favour, much to the annoyance of Fabregas.

The picture has also been muddied further by a disagreement between Arsenal and Barcelona over the London club's recruitment of midfielder Jon Toral and right-back Hector Bellerin, both 16, from the famous La Masia academy. They were both offered professional terms by Barcelona, but opted to follow the route taken by Fabregas and signed five-year contracts for Arsenal instead. The pair were rated two of the most promising players in the Barcelona youth set-up and the Catalan club are furious that Arsenal have once again enticed away some of their finest emerging talent.

Arsenal paid around £300,000 in training costs for each of the players, who were signed earlier this year. Barça, however, are claiming they should be paid around £6m in compensation in total, and are using that as a bargaining chip in an attempt to lower the price for Fabregas.

Arsenal refuse to accept Barcelona's claims, and state that they have done nothing wrong as both players were out of contract. Both have publicly said that they joined Arsenal because they were promised first-team football within three years.

Arsenal are also being stubborn over the situation concerning contract rebel Samir Nasri, who has rejected a five-year extension worth £90,000 a week to his current deal, which runs out next year, and is trying to negotiate a more lucrative salary elsewhere. Manchester United are expected to bid for the French midfielder who, while most of the first-team squad had their first pre-season training sessions yesterday, is not due back until tomorrow. But Arsenal are insisting on £25m if they have to sell him to another Premier League club. Manchester City, Chelsea, Internazionale and Milan are all monitoring Nasri's situation closely.

Arsenal hope to confirm this week the signing of Ivory Coast striker Gervinho from Lille for a fee of around £12m. However, it seems they have missed out on midfielder Ricardo Alvarez, who last night seemed set to move to Inter for £10.7m. The Italian press yesterday reported Inter had reached an agreement with Velez Sarsfield for the 23-year-old playmaker, who is to sign a five-year contract.

Sport
England's women celebrate after their 3rd place play-off win against Germany
Women's World CupFara Williams converts penalty to secure victory and bronze medals
Arts and Entertainment
Ricardo by Edward Sutcliffe, 2014
artPortraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb go on display
News
newsHillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'