Manchester United are testing Barcelona’s commitment to keeping Cesc Fabregas by upping their previous bid for the former Arsenal captain from £26million to £30million as new boss David Moyes makes strengthening his midfield a priority.
The Premier League champions were undeterred by the Liga champions’ claims that they will not sell the midfielder at any price and have gone back to Barca with an improved offer which Moyes and the club’s executive vice president Ed Woodward believe will at the least start a dialogue over a potential transfer.
“My understanding is that Ed’s had a response and he’s spoken with them and again we’ve made a second offer,” Moyes said on the club’s pre season tour in Tokyo. “But Ed’s dealing with that, rather than me personally here.”
Moyes also said that if progress is not made on Fabregas the club will have to move on to other options to strengthen the midfield area he regards as being essential to his tenure at the club.
“I think a point does come but I think when you are interested in good players you want to give it every opportunity to materialise. And I’ll do that. I’ll hope that things can continue to try to move forward. At this moment I can only tell you that Ed Woodward is working hard to make the deals happen and we’re hoping some of them will fall into place shortly.”
It is likely that the departure of Tito Vilanova last week due to his health issues will give Fabregas pause for thought about his future as the player was not thought to be part of the manager’s plans and will now await the appointment of another manager before making a decision on his future.
That decision may be impacted by Barcelona’s own needs to bring in some money this summer to offset the purchase of Neymar and with few players in the squad who are seen as dispensable Fabregas may be moved on.
“Barcelona can assure you we will not entertain any offers for Cesc,” Barca vice president Josep Maria Bartomeu last week told Sport. “It is totally ruled out, he’s not for sale.”
Moyes’ quotes today seem to suggest that the club are in talks with United at present and may be willing to entertain offers for the player who made the switch back to his boyhood club for £25million just two years ago.