Barcelona willing to sell Cesc Fabregas to Manchester United as they need the money
Spanish champions have spent lavishly on Brazil’s Neymar while Fabregas is unhappy at being played out of position
Spain’s Cesc Fabregas, right, and Spain’s David Villa, left, vie for the ball during a training session at Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, during last month’s Confederation Cup. Photograph: Victor R Caivano/AP Photo)
Barcelona are willing to sell Cesc Fabregas to Manchester United because the Spanish champions need the money, according to a highly placed source in Spain.
While United have yet to hear back from Barcelona regarding their €30m bid, the club believe that Fabregas wants to leave Camp Nou owing to a number of factors that have made the midfielder discontented since joining from Arsenal in the summer of 2011.
The arrival of the Brazil’s Neymar in a €58m transfer from Santos in the close season has pushed Fabregas further down the pecking order of attacking players at the club. Fabregas is also believed to be unhappy at not being played in his preferred position regularly by Tito Vilanova, the coach, and there is a sense at United that as Fabregas was signed by Pep Guardiola and so was not the choice of Vilanova, the 26-year-old will continue to struggle to play in Barcelona’s biggest games.
Asked about United’s bid for Fabregas, Vilanova said: “It’s good for your players to receive offers. I spoke to him and he told me he wanted to stay here and that he didn’t want to go to another club. He wants to succeed here. I’m happy about that.”
Despite Vilanova’s comments, Fabregas’s position is that were Barcelona to signal they are willing to sell him then, according to the player’s camp, he would recognise a need to give serious consideration to his long-term future.
United are prepared to be patient over their pursuit of a player coveted by David Moyes, the manager, and may increase their bid.
While it is thought that an offer of €40m would seriously test the Catalan club’s resolve, the source said: “Barcelona are willing to sell because they need the money.”
The club have financed a massive spend over the past two seasons. In the summer of 2011 there was a €60m-plus combined outlay on Fabregas and Alexis Sanchez, the Chilean who has also struggled to feature regularly under Vilanova, while Neymar’s €58m move was preceded by Lionel Messi signing a €19.5m a-year, five-season contract in February.
David Villa has been removed from the books following his move to Atletico Madrid earlier this month, with Barcelona also hoping to off-load Ibrahim Afellay, the Dutch winger, who is reportedly a target for Liverpool and Tottenham.
David de Gea, the Manchester United goalkeeper and Fabregas’s Spanish countryman, would welcome his arrival at Old Trafford. “It would be great if Cesc came here,” he said. “It would be great to have more Spanish players at Manchester United. He is a great player, very skilful and knows how to win things.”
While Barcelona have yet to make any statement regarding their stance on United’s offer, Arsenal retain a first buyback option on Fabregas but this is nullified if he does not want to return to the Emirates Stadium, which appears likely.