Transfer news: Will Barcelona allow Cesc Fabregas to leave for Manchester United or Arsenal?

The Spain midfielder is the subject of a £26m bid

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The Independent Football

Manchester United have made a £26m bid for Cesc Fabregas which has left Barcelona with a decision to make - are they prepared to part with the Spain international?

While Fabregas wants to remain at the Nou Camp, it's understood he will be guided by the club. Should they accept the £26m offer - or an improved one - it will say much about how they view him. The 26-year-old would be open to a return to the Premier League if they agree a deal.

But will Barcelona agree to sell him? We take a look at the factors involved...


Midfield options

Manchester United had been in pursuit of another Barcelona midfielder before making a bid for Fabregas. However, Thiago Alcantara opted to move to Bayern Munich instead. The fact Barcelona have already lost one key central midfielder this summer will make them reluctant to let another one leave.


A key player

Fabregas is viewed with nowhere near the same affection as he was at Arsenal - however, suggestions that he is a fringe player at the Nou Camp are wide of the mark. He has played 96 times in two seasons, including 60 league games. Although he has rarely featured in his preferred midfield role due to the performances of Xavi and Andres Iniesta.


What does Fabregas want?

Fabregas told reporters earlier this summer: "if someone says anything that isn’t that I want to play at Barca, it’s completely absurd."

That is true, though there is the caveat that if the Catalan side wish him to go then he is willing to do so, in his pursuit of regular football to enhance his prospects for next summer’s World Cup campaign with Spain.

Coach Tito Vilanova has said: "I'm aware there have been offers, I had a conversation with him and he told me that he wanted to continue here and that he didn't want to go to another big club. He wants to succeed here."


Not a selling club

Former manager Pep Guardiola said this summer that "no player wants to leave Barcelona". The decision over whether players leave is left to the club and the Catalan side are almost never forced into anything they don't want to do. Last January it became clear a number of clubs were interested in David Villa - however Barcelona decided they couldn't do without the striker and rebuffed all interest. This summer, they signed Neymar and consequently allowed Villa to move on. Barcelona will only sell if they want to.


Inside sources

Various reports have quoted a Barcelona source as saying "the player is not transferable". Not particular encouraging for his pursuers, although such words are not always a signal that a transfer is impossible.