Barcelona chief Sandro Rosell seeks crunch talks with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger over Cesc Fabregas

July 7th, 2010

Cesc Fabregas’s hopes of signing for Barcelona hinge on make-or-break talks between Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger and Nou Camp president Sandro Rosell.

Rosell is flying to South Africa on Thursday and is determined to talk to Wenger before Sunday’s World Cup final, which the Gunners manager is set to cover for French television.

And just hours after telling a Spanish radio station that the signing had been made more difficult by Barca officials constantly talking about it to the media, Rosell continued to set out his strategy in a round of interviews with Catalan newspapers.

In contrast, Arsenal released one statement last month rejecting the initial £29million bid, insisting their captain was not for sale, while a dignified Wenger has done little more to elaborate.

Fabregas has made it clear he wants to return to Barcelona, but Sportsmail understands it would take a bid approaching £60million for Arsenal to change their position.

Rosell today reiterated he would not pay even £40m, but refused to reveal what his upper limit was.

‘It would give advantage to Arsenal in the negotiation,’ he said. ‘If Arsenal don’t go crazy, he can play for Barca.

‘We have to be quick, do or die, yes or no. It won’t be prolonged.

‘In South Africa we will try to see Wenger. Then we will say what is happening. If we are told they asking €50m (£40m), we will say “goodbye” and we’ll let you know. If they ask for €30m (£25m) we will tell him “yes”.

‘But Wenger is not the only one to talk to, at Arsenal there are other forces of influence.’

Asked if the top price he would pay is €40m (£33.3m), Rosell insisted: ‘I would like it to be less, but it depends on the negotiation.

‘If you say, for example, €20m now and €20m if we win the Champions League three times in the next three years, that would be €40m, but in another form.

‘However, we will never pay the €50m or €60m that is being talked about.’

Bayern Munich midfielder Arjen Robben has been talked about as an alternative if the Fabregas deal fails, but Rosell insisted his coaching staff had not identified the Dutchman as a desirable target.

The president, who replaced Joan Laporta a week ago, revealed that some players had not been paid on June 30, which was part of the reason he decided to quickly offload Dmytro Chygrynskiy back to Shakhtar Dontesk for £12.5m just a year after the defender joined for almost £10m more.

The Spanish champions are also in talks with banks about a £125m loan, but Rosell insisted there will still be plenty of money to spend.

‘There will be €50m (£40m) to sign and more can be added from sales,’ he said. ‘This is the case every year. This is our plan for the future.

‘This year we sold Toure for €30m and Chygrynskiy for €15m, so we would have €95m (£80m). There is more than enough if you make good sales. Everybody has to understand that Barca are also a selling club, not just a buyer.’

The club are also targetting Liverpool’s Fernando Torres and Javier Mascherano and could move for Manchester United left back Patrice Evra.

Rosell said the £34m already laid out for David Villa by the previous regime did not affect his budget.

Source: Daily Mail

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