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.

News
The Banksy image in Folkestone before it was vandalised
people
Life and Style
tech

Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts

Sport
Louis van Gaal at the Hawthorns prior to Manchester United's game against West Brom
football

Follow the latest updates from the Monday night Premier League fixture

News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Bloom Time: Mira Sorvino
tvMira Sorvino on leaving movie roles for 'The Intruders'
News
Brian Harvey turned up at Downing Street today demanding to speak to the Prime Minister
news

Met Police confirm there was a 'minor disturbance' and that no-one was arrested

Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010
films

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

Voices
Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary: 'There are pressures which we are facing but there is not a crisis'
voices

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

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

News
Blackpool is expected to become one of the first places to introduce the Government’s controversial new Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs)
news

Concerns raised phenomenon is threatening resort's image as a family destination

Life and Style
gaming

I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title

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

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
Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

Terry Venables column

Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

Michael Calvin's Inside Word

Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past