By Nick Harris
17 June 2010
The president-elect of Barcelona, Sandro Rosell, will sanction an improved bid to buy Cesc Fabregas from Arsenal but not until he formally takes up his new position at the start of next month, and the bid – Barca’s second for the player – is not likely to exceed €40m (£33.45m), according to sources in Spain.
Rosell, 46, was elected as Barca’s new president by winning more than 60 per cent of the votes in a race against the incumbent president, Joan Laporta this week. He takes up his post on 1 July and won’t be making any further move for Fabregas before then.
Arsenal rejected an initial bid of £30m, tabled at the start of the month, saying they had “no intention” of selling their captain.
But the player wants to move and has told Arsenal that. Rosell wants to sign him. Barca have the money and are willing to splash out, in addition to the €40m they have already spent this summer on buying David Villa from Valencia.
While Arsenal insist Fabregas is not for sale, Barca believe they will get their man, and Rosell says he is “convinced” they will.
In an interview with Sky, he said: “We are not under any sort of pressure at the moment. We have the whole summer to sort this deal out.
“I am convinced that Cesc will be our player by the start of next season. I know what happens in football and I will not be surprised to see stories of other clubs chasing him.
“But we are very calm because the key person in all of this is Cesc himself. The only way he will leave Arsenal is if he is joining Barcelona because of his roots.”