Cesc Fabregas battle not over as Barcelona refuse to back down

03 June 2010 12:50
Barcelona are refusing to give up on Cesc Fabregas - despite Arsenal insisting they won't even discuss the sale of their captain.

The Gunners rejected a £29million written bid on Tuesday and issued a strongly worded statement telling their rivals not to bother making another offer.

But sources in Spain say Barca see the move as purely a device to raise the price and they have no intention of cooling their pursuit.

In it for the long haul: Barcelona won't give up the chase for Fabregas (right)

Such a low opening offer was always going to be rebuffed - that much was clear from informal conversations between the two sides - but it is claimed in Catalonia that the official bid was as much about procedure than confidence in getting their man.

The Spanish champions have waged a very public pursuit, while also keeping in contact with Fabregas's agent Darren Dein, and believe that an official approach should make them immune from any complaint about tapping up.

Biggest stage: Fabregas training with the Spain team ahead of the start of the World Cup

Arsenal officially say their talisman is not for sale, while it is understood privately a prohibitive fee of £80m has been mooted.

Catalan paper El Mundo Deportivo says Barca have set a ceiling of £38m as their best offer, though leaking such information is just another part of the PR war.

Plans to send a delegation to London to negotiate face-to-face are said to have been shelved and there could be a waiting game now before an improved bid.

Nou Camp insiders still hope Fabregas will strengthen their hand by making further public declarations about his desire to sign, but the Arsenal skipper is sensitive to upsetting fans in north London and also wants to concentrate on playing for Spain at the World Cup. 

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Source: Daily_Mail