Transfer Talk: Guardiola plays down move for Fabregas

Pep Guardiola, the Barcelona coach, has added to the recent pessimistic statements coming from the Nou Camp over the club's attempt to sign Cesc Fabregas from Arsenal this summer.

Arsène Wenger, the Gunners manager, appealed at the weekend for the speculation about Fabregas to stop, and Guardiola yesterday echoed comments from the Barcelona president Sandro Rosell that it was proving difficult to persuade Arsenal to do a deal for the 23-year-old midfielder.

While the Barça coach made sure to reiterate that he does "want him [Fabregas] to come," he was forced to concede that Arsenal remain very much in the driving seat. "I think bringing in Cesc will cost a lot and if Arsenal don't want to negotiate he won't come," he said.

Now that Guardiola has damped down the chances of a transfer this year, we may see attention diverted away from this, the rumour of the summer. The distraction of Fabregas has at least allowed the Spanish giants to shore up their squad in other areas without much attention. For instance, Barcelona have now officially completed the signing of Seville full-back Adriano Correia for £8m.

Meanwhile, the second biggest transfer story of the close season, Mario Balotelli, took a turn in favour of Manchester United yesterday, as rivals City were rebuffed for a second time by Internazionale. Even though City increased their offer to £21m, Inter still refused to sell in the hope of getting a bigger sum for the 19-year-old striker, who they value at closer to £30m. Meanwhile, Balotelli's agent said the player will take his time. "I don't think the situation will be solved this evening," he said.

A deal for Balotelli may well prove the catalyst that will ignite a flat transfer market. An influx of money at Inter would certainly find its way back in to the Premier League through the acquisition of Javier Macherano from Liverpool, which will allow more activity from their new manager, Roy Hodgson.

Rafa Benitez, the new Inter coach, would also like to bring in Everton's midfielder Steven Piennar if the European champions sell Balotelli. However, a recent Italian FA ruling that restricts the number of non-European Union players teams can buy could undermine the bid as 18-year-old Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho has already joined Inter this summer. It is understood though that if a deal cannot be agreed now for Pienaar, the 28-year-old South African would be willing to see out his deal with Everton and sign a pre-contract with Inter in January.

West Bromwich

Graham Dorrans has pledged his future to the newly promoted Premier League club by signing a new contract. West Ham had three bids which went up to £5m rejected for the Albion midfielder but the Scot elected to sign a four-year extension. "I'm delighted Graham has signed a new long-term contract," said manager Roberto di Matteo. "There has been a lot of media speculation about Graham's future but it hasn't affected him one bit." West Brom confirmed yesterday that midfielder Borja Valero has joined Villarreal on a season-long loan, with the intention of making a permanent move next year.

Newcastle

Dan Gosling is on the brink of signing for United after leaving Everton. The 20-year-old midfielder walked out of Goodison Park last month after the Merseyside club failed to make him a written offer over renewing his contract. After being closely linked with Sunderland and West Ham, Newcastle have won the race for Gosling, who is expected to sign a four-year deal today. Chris Hughton, the Newcastle manager, also hopes to confirm the arrival of former England defender Sol Campbell this week. The two parties are currently trying to reach an agreement over the 35-year-old's wage demands.

Tottenham

Harry Redknapp is set to make Stipe Pletikosa the fourth Croatian at Spurs after agreeing to sign the 31-year-old goalkeeper from Spartak Moscow on a free transfer. Redknapp said: "The best players I ever managed have been Croatian boys."

Celtic

Manager Neil Lennon is considering the future of Georgios Samaras after receiving a bid from Spanish side Hercules. The striker's contract expires next summer and Lennon said: "We'll contemplate what we will do over the next few days."

News
Patrick Stewart in the classiest ice bucket to date
people
News
The current recommendation from Britain's Chief Medical Officer, is that people refrain from drinking on at least two days a week
food + drinkTheory is that hangovers are caused by methanol poisoning
News
Australian rapper Iggy Azalea was left red faced but, thankfully, unhurt after taking a few too many steps backwards, sending her tumbling off the stage.
peopleIggy Azalea was left red faced but apparently unhurt after taking a few too many steps backwards
News
newsComedian Lee Hurst started trend with first tweet using the hashtag
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
arts + entsWe have created an infogaphic that looks back over the previous incarnations of the Doctor
Sport
Romelu Lukaku scores during Everton's 3-0 win over Arsenal last season
LIVEFollow all the action as Everton take on Arsenal in the final Premier League game of the day
Life and Style
A nearly completed RoboThespian robot inside the Engineered Arts workshop is tested in Penryn, England. The Cornish company, operating from an industrial unit near Falmouth, is the world's only maker of commercially available life sized humanoid robots
techSuper-intelligent robots could decide destroying the human race is the kindest thing to do
News
scienceExcitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
News
newsRyan Crighton goes in search of the capo dei capi
Life and Style
techConcept would see planes coated in layer of micro-sensors and able to sense wear and tear
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

All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
What happens to African migrants once they land in Italy during the summer?

What happens to migrants once they land in Italy?

Memphis Barker follows their trail through southern Europe
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Frank Mugisha: Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked

Frank Mugisha: 'Coming out was a gradual process '

Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Florence Knight's perfect picnic: Make the most of summer's last Bank Holiday weekend

Florence Knight's perfect picnic

Polpetto's head chef shares her favourite recipes from Iced Earl Grey tea to baked peaches, mascarpone & brown sugar meringues...
Horst P Horst: The fashion photography genius who inspired Madonna comes to the V&A

Horst P Horst comes to the V&A

The London's museum has delved into its archives to stage a far-reaching retrospective celebrating the photographer's six decades of creativity
Mark Hix recipes: Try our chef's summery soups for a real seasonal refresher

Mark Hix's summery soups

Soup isn’t just about comforting broths and steaming hot bowls...
Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'

Tim Sherwood column

I would have taken the Crystal Palace job if I’d been offered it soon after my interview... but the whole process dragged on so I had to pull out
Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition