Fabregas urged to join Alves in 'business class'

The pressure on Arsenal to sell Cesc Fabregas grew yesterday as one of his prospective team-mates at Barcelona, Dani Alves, called on the club to let the 24-year-old return to the Nou Camp.

Alves, who himself engineered his exit from Seville to join Barça last year, added insult to injury by saying that he understood why Fabregas wanted to make the step up to "business class" from Arsenal. "I understand that he doesn't want to leave Arsenal on bad terms but I can understand why he would force the motor to come to Barça," he said in an interview with Spanish radio station RAC-1. "Players always end up playing where they want to play and a club shouldn't keep an unhappy player.

"I forced my exit from Sevilla; I saw the train passing by and I wanted to be in business class."

Arsenal, meanwhile, who are set to head to Asia for a lucrative tour on Sunday, insist they remain oblivious to the pressure. Swiss centre-half Johan Djourou insists the Arsenal squad cannot concern themselves with whether Fabregas will still be around to lead the club next season. "We know there will be stories but we know what we're aiming for and what our goal is," Djourou told the BBC. "We want to be successful so we don't really get distracted by this. If he [Fabregas] goes, he goes."

Barça, however, insist they are in no hurry to sign the midfielder. "We have the whole summer to sign players," said Barcelona vice-president Josep Bartomeu. "All of the deals that are being worked on by the technical secretary require patience – we are working without hurry but without delay."

And Bartomeu says improvements are necessary despite last season's success, when Barça won a third successive La Liga title and the Champions League for the second time in three seasons. "We have a great team with great players and great coaches – the best in Europe," he said. "But the squad will need some retouching."

Djourou, meanwhile, insists there could be an upside to any Fabregas sale, with other players stepping up to fill the void. "It could be true because when you look at players who normally come out and express themselves, it's when someone goes," Djourou said in Match of the Day magazine.

"When Thierry [Henry] went, Cesc expressed himself even more, but the two together [Fabregas and Nasri] are great so you'd rather keep them."

Djourou is confident the side has learnt from bitter experience as they look to end a trophy drought stretching back to the 2005 FA Cup. "Last season we were so close to trophies, but also so far. There was a little bit missing but it's not much," he said.

Gervinho is understood to have undergone a medical, with confirmation of a four-year deal expected in time for him to join the nine-day trip to Malaysia and China. Arsenal are also expected to step up their pursuit of £17m-rated Bolton centre-back Gary Cahill, while reports in Spain suggest the Emirates Stadium is the preferred destination of Valencia's Spain under-21 midfielder Juan Mata, whose buy-out clause would be around £20m.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...