Barcelona have confirmed that they have entered ‘official’ negotiations with Arsenal over the transfer of their influential captain Cesc Fabregas.
The Catalan giants have submitted a written offer which is believed to be in the region of €40 million (£33 million) for Fabregas, after initially entering formal discussions with Arsenal earlier today – the day after the transfer window re-opened.
Speaking to the club’s official website, Barca director Joan Oliver said;
“Everyone knows that Cesc wants to play for this club and everyone knows that we also want this. But there is a third major player, which is Arsenal. Any deal must go through them and June 1 was the beginning of the period of official negotiations.
Until earlier there were informal conversations, but since Tuesday these are formal – and the usual mechanism is to present a formal and concrete offer – so on Tuesday afternoon, we submitted a written bid to Arsenal.”
And Oliver’s quotes have been paralleled by Barca vice-president Rafel Yuste;
“We have made the first offer for Cesc. We hope that he will soon be a Barca player [but] as of yet we have not had a response.
I hope he can sign as soon as possible. I am optimistic and it goes without saying that he and his family will get a very warm welcome.
We won’t do anything to ruin the signing. We won’t be hasty but nor will we let up. The ball is in Arsenal’s court now and as we have an exceptional relationship with them I am optimistic.”
The 23-year-old midfielder has long been linked with a return to his boyhood club, and it seems that his protracted move may now be finally starting to materialise.
Fabregas is contracted to Arsenal until 2015, meaning that the Gunners hold the upper hand as regards negotiation over a prospective transfer fee – or compensation – depending on which side of the fence you sit.
However, last month the Spaniard told his manager Arsene Wenger that he wishes to return to the Camp Nou and echoed those sentiments at a promotional event in the Catalan capital a few weeks later, meaning that Arsenal seemingly have no leverage in terms of competition in the market.
So after the weeks, nay months, nay years of relentless speculation and conjecture, it seems that the day most Arsenal fans were fearing most is now looming increasingly large on the horizon – the day Barca’s prodigal son returns home – and it now looks to be just a matter of price and time.