We got Fabregas for a bargain fee, claim Barcelona

 

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The Independent Online

Barcelona vice-president Josep Maria Bartomeu believes that Arsenal were correct in their initial valuation of Cesc Fabregas at €60m (£53m), having seen the midfielder's impact at the Nou Camp.

Barcelona signed Arsenal's captain last month after weeks of negotiation, in a deal worth £35m. The Arsenal manager, Arsène Wenger, said that it was a "reduced fee", and Bartomeu agrees that the midfielder was worth more.

Bartomeu told Catalan newspaper Sport that Fabregas's performances so far have justified the initial Arsenal price tag. "After seeing the work he's done since his arrival it is true that Cesc meets the €60m valuation Arsenal initially demanded," he said.

"The kid is demonstrating a high level and quality in three weeks of training. The transfer was very good. In a market that is so open Cesc is worth a lot of money. It was complicated to close the deal. The negotiations were very hard."

Fabregas joined for a basic fee of €29m (£25.6m), with a £4m pay-off waived by Fabregas, as well as £4.4m of further add-ons contingent on Barcelona winning more trophies. There is also a 50 per cent sell-on clause, should the Spanish club offload him in the future, and a buy-back option for Arsenal. Barcelona have also given up any claims to youngsters Jon Miquel Toral and Hector Bellerin, who left them to join Arsenal in the summer. Soon after the deal was reached, Wenger said that the club sold Fabregas for a "reduced fee", and that an auction for him would have brought more money in.

"If he was on the market to any club we would have got more money but we did want to get a decent fee," said Wenger last month. "That's what I'm paid for. You cannot say because you want to get the deal done as quickly as possible: 'Just take him and give us what you want'. You have to fight for your rights. If Cesc is for sale and you can make an auction between Real Madrid, Chelsea, Man City, you will certainly get more money but he just wanted to go to Barcelona."

The former Arsenal captain has had an instant impact since joining Barcelona. He scored as a substitute in the 2-0 Uefa Super Cup victory over Porto on 26 August and again found the net, this time from a starting role, in the 5-0 victory against Villarreal in La Liga.

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