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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
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

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz