Frustrated Fabregas accepts he must play in Arsenal friendly


Cesc Fabregas is fit again and will be in the Arsenal squad for tomorrow's flight to Lisbon for Saturday's friendly against Benfica, as his putative move to Barcelona drags on into the last month of the transfer window.

Fabregas has now completed two days' full training with the first-team squad having recovered from a hamstring injury that had ruled him out of any action, including pre-season, since Arsenal's 2-1 loss to Bolton on 24 April. The match against Benfica, for the Eusebio Cup, is Arsenal's last friendly of the pre-season and Fabregas had anticipated that he would have been long gone by now.

Last night, Fabregas' Spain team-mate Gerard Pique said that Arsenal should grant the player his wish. "As a friend I want Cesc to come," he said in Miami before Barcelona's friendly with MLS side, Chivas. "I respect Arsenal but they should listen to the player to know what he wants."

The clubs critically remain £5m apart in their valuation of the player with Arsenal continuing to hold out for £40m and Barcelona stuck on £29.6m plus add-ons that will take the total to £35m. Fabregas is frustrated and disillusioned with the situation but accepts that if selected at the Estadio da Luz then he has to play.

The Fabregas camp is frustrated that having ruled out selling him to Chelsea or Manchester City, both of whom have expressed an interest, Arsenal will not accept the best offer from a club in what they have decreed must be an auction with one bidder. On Arsenal's part, they are unwilling to be bullied, as they see it, into accepting a lower offer.

It is also understood that Barcelona would not be prepared to raise Fabregas' current £120,000 wages higher than what he could potentially expect to earn if he signed a new deal at Arsenal. Fabregas is adamant in private that a return to Barcelona is not about money.

Fabregas has so far refused to go public on his feelings out of respect to Wenger, but another weekend of inertia and the expectation that he is now part of Arsenal's preparations for their first Premier League game of the season against Newcastle a week on Saturday could change that. Until the last two days, Fabregas has trained alone with a member of the coaching staff. Today he is expected to be at the Emirates for a members' day event and the official team photograph. First-team players will train in front of around 10,000 spectators and will sign autographs afterwards. The press are not invited.

Meanwhile, Arsenal's 20-year-old centre-back Kyle Bartley, scorer of an unfortunate own goal against New York Red Bulls on Sunday, has signed a contract extension to 2014.

Arts and Entertainment
Banksy's 'The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' in Bristol
art'Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' followed hoax reports artist had been arrested and unveiled
Life and Style

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

peopleJust weeks after he created dress for Alamuddin-Clooney wedding
Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

football West Brom vs Man Utd match report: Blind grabs point, but away form a problem for Van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
Bloom Time: Mira Sorvino
tvMira Sorvino on leaving movie roles for 'The Intruders'
Arts and Entertainment
Leonardo DiCaprio talks during the press conference for the film

Film follows park rangers in the Congo

Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
Adel Taraabt in action for QPR against West Ham earlier this month
footballQPR boss says midfielder is 'not fit to play football'
First woman: Valentina Tereshkova
peopleNASA guinea pig Kate Greene thinks it might fly
Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary: 'There are pressures which we are facing but there is not a crisis'

Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?

Life and Style
The charity Sands reports that 11 babies are stillborn everyday in the UK
lifeEleven babies are stillborn every day in the UK, yet no one speaks about this silent tragedy
Blackpool is expected to become one of the first places to introduce the Government’s controversial new Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs)

Parties threaten resort's image as a family destination

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album