New Barca chief makes Fabregas pledge
ew Barcelona president Sandro Rosell is ready to work with the departing Joan Laporta in an effort to bring Cesc Fabregas to the club. New Barcelona president Sandro Rosell is ready to work with the departing Joan Laporta in an effort to bring Arsenal's Cesc Fabregas to the club this summer. Having already signed striker David Villa from Valencia, Barcelona have switched their attentions to signing Fabregas. However Arsenal turned down an opening offer for their 23-year-old captain, who is in South Africa preparing for Spain's World Cup match against Switzerland on Wednesday, and have stressed they do not want to sell Fabregas. Fabregas says he will not discuss his future until after the World Cup, but Rosell is keen to see what stage discussions have reached between the two clubs. "When we get together, Laporta will explain at what stage the Cesc situation is at. If negotiations are advanced and the coaching staff want the player, we will continue with the negotiations, without doubt," Rosell said in his first press conference since winning the presidential election. Laporta will stay in charge until the end of the month, and Rosell believes the pair can put their differences to one side in order to land Fabregas. "Until July 1 we can't do anything, but if they need help then we will be the first to give it," Rosell said. Rosell worked as Barcelona's vice-president earlier on in Laporta's reign, but fell out with his former colleague and stepped down in 2005, claiming the lawyer was failing to stick to his original model for the running of the club. However, the men embraced following Rosell's landslide victory last night. "I didn't expect Laporta to hug me like that, but the important thing now is not how I felt at that moment, but to make sure there is a smooth transition," said Rosell. He added: "I have the feeling that the transfer of powers will be more peaceful and calm than I had expected." Although he does not officially take control until the beginning of next month, Rosell will speak to coach Pep Guardiola in the coming days to discuss how the club can strengthen the squad for next season. "I have spoken to Pep and before he goes away on holiday we will speak again to try to help improve the team in these days before our mandate starts," he said. Rosell has committed to being available to help Guardiola make signings in the coming weeks. "If Pep thinks we can lend a hand in terms of making signings, we will. They have the last word. We don't have any 'top player' lined up, but we will make our contacts and knowledge available," Rosell said. Rosell had been expected to bring in a new sporting director to replace Txiki Begiristain, but says the former Barca player could yet work in the new regime "if he wants to stay and understands and accepts our vision". But the 46-year-old will allow the club members - the 'socios' - to decide whether Johan Cruyff should continue as the club's honorary president. The Barcelona legend was given that position by Laporta in April, much to the annoyance of Rosell. "What we didn't like about the Cruyff issue was that it was done behind the socios' backs. If we are asked to ratify the appointment, the socios will decide whether to approve it or not," Rosell said. The important thing, however, is for everybody at the club to share a common resolve, according to Rosell, who succeeds a president under whom Barcelona won 12 titles in seven years. "We want to unite the whole club and move in the same direction together," he said.
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