Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola has confirmed that Arsenal are prepared to sell Cesc Fabregas this summer and reinforced his claim by stating that the two parties have entered negotiations.
Last summer the Catalan side had two bids dismissed out of hand and while a third bid of £26 million was again rebuffed this summer it appears that Fabregas, who is under contract at the Emirates until 2015, could still seal a move to the Nou Camp before the end of the transfer window.
As things stand however, Arsenal remain steadfast in holding out for a transfer fee in excess of £40 million; a figure which looks likely to prove troublesome for Barcelona given the fact they have prioritised the acquisition of an attacker, thought to be Udinese’s Alexis Sanchez, this summer.
Speaking to the Spanish press, Guardiola revealed: “Last year we were interested in Cesc but Arsenal did not make him available.
“This year Arsenal have agreed to negotiate and we’re working on it. Prices in the market are what they are right now, but I hope that everything can be resolved.
“Everything we have done has been with permission of Arsenal and Mr Wenger knows that. Cesc owes them.
“Between a midfielder and a forward, our priority is a forward, but there’s money for two players.”
“There is money available to sign the player and until the last day [of the transfer window] we will try to sign him, but I’m the first to understand that sometimes these things cannot happen.
“Cesc will make us better, we’re interested, but if it’s not to be then maybe next year and we use the money for something else.”
The comments stemming from Barcelona appear to contrast those made by Peter Hill-Wood last night who stated that he has not heard anything from the reigning European champions since the bid they lodged last month was dismissed.