Barcelona continue sales to improve Fabregas bid


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The Independent Football

Barcelona are expected to try to increase their offer for Cesc Fabregas this week with the money raised from Jeffren Suarez's €4m (£3.5m) sale to Sporting Lisbon in a third attempt to sign the player this summer.

Arsenal will have to wait until the end of the week to make a decision on whether Fabregas will undertake the journey to Lisbon to play against Benfica in a friendly on Saturday. If he is fit the midfielder has been told that he will be expected to be on the trip, despite not having played a single game in pre-season so far.

The sale of Suarez is regarded in Spain as another move by Barcelona towards freeing up funds for the acquisition of Fabregas and allowing the club to get as close as possible to Arsenal's £40m valuation. As ever, Barça remain optimistic that they will get the deal done but Fabregas is scheduled to appear at a members' event at Arsenal tomorrow, when the squad picture for the season will be taken.

Arsenal have expressed an interest in signing Real Madrid's 16-year-old midfielder Jose Rodriguez. The teenager, who turns 17 in December when, under Premier League rules, he would be allowed to sign a professional contract, was part of the Madrid team that played in an Under-17s world club championship last month, when he was scouted by Arsenal's Spanish scout Francisco Cagigao.