Friends in high places: Cesc Fabregas and new Barca president Sandro Rosell are close
Former Nike executive Sandro Rosell will replace Joan Laporta at the end of the month after overwhelmingly winning the election with 61 per cent of the vote.
The 46-year-old was vice-president when Laporta was elected in 2003, but the pair clashed over the direction theclub was going and Rosell quit in 2005.
Laporta favoured Jaume Ferrer, who came last when the voters ignored the highly successful incumbent and went for the man least wanted by the current hierarchy.
The Spanish press have long reported that Rosell is close to Fabregas, with some titles suggesting a tacit agreement was reached with the player's agent months ago that a transfer would take place this summer.
The Gunners captain's desire to move home is no longer up for debateand Rosell's job will be to reach an agreement between the two clubs onan acceptable fee.
Arsenal insist Fabregas is not for sale and rebuffed the only official £29million bid, lodged on June 1.
Rosellis believed to be unimpressed with the way Barca have conducted thepursuit so far and, for his part, insists the club will not pay overthe odds for a player valued at £60million by Arsene Wenger.
Top of Rosell's list of priorities is to meet Pep Guardiola before the coach goes on holiday in four days. Guardiola is yet to formally sign a contract extension beyond this summer.
But the president-elect also wants to talk to the coach and Laporta about Fabregas.
'When we get together, Laporta will explain at what stage the Cesc situation is at,' said Rosell.
'If negotiations are advanced and the coaching staff want the player, we will continue with the negotiations, without doubt.
'Until July 1 (when Laporta steps aside) we can't do anything, but if they need help then we will be the first to give it.'
Safe hands? Rosell celebrates his election victory victory after pooling 61 per cent of the vote
Alternatives to the Spain midfielder are being considered.
Rosellhasa track record of success, though. When Laporta failed to fulfilhis election pledge of landing David Beckham from Manchester United in2003, Rosell was crucial in saving face by luring Ronaldinho from ParisSaint-Germain to the Nou Camp.
ManchesterUnited wanted the Brazil playmaker to replace Real-Madrid-bound Beckham, but had a connection to Ronaldinho as a former Latin America Nike executive and proved persuasive.
In what may be a rewriting of history, Rosell is also said to have been greatly against Fabregas leaving Barca for Arsenal in 2003 and worked hard to secure a compensation package.
Vote of no confidence: Despite being the choice of the outgoing Laporta, Jaume Ferrer finished last in the presidential election
Rosell was Nike's executive for Spain and Portugal from 1996-'99 before taking up the equivalent role in South America.
He waskey in securing the lucrative relationship between Barca and the sportswear manufacturer and is also credited for a similar relationship with the Brazil national team. Fabregas is endorsed by Nike.
After winning the vote on Sunday, Rosell said: 'I will be a president for everyone. I know it's a position with a great deal of responsibility. I will not fail you.
'This dream has been made possible by many people. All of those that have voted, whoever they voted for, also my family, my friends and all of the volunteers who have supported me in my candidacy - thank you.'
The end of an era: Under the seven-year stewardship of Joan Leporta, Barcelona brought the likes of Ronaldinho to the Nou Camp, winning the Champions League twice and La Liga four times
Laporta retains power till the end of the month and has indicated he will continue to work on the Fabregas deal until his final day in office.
'I am happy,' said Laporta. 'I leave with the sensation of having accomplished my mission.
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