Arsenal and Barcelona to resume talks over Cesc Fabregas transfer as Gunners hold out for £40m fee

Catalan club's vice-president Josep Maria Bartomeu returned to Spain on Thursday without a conclusion to the long-running saga being reached, with price tag still an issue
By Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent

Arsenal and Barcelona are poised for further talks in the next week to negotiate the transfer of Cesc Fabregas after a meeting in London failed to bring any resolution to the long-running saga.

The European champions have indicated they are only willing to pay £33 million including performance-related add-ons for the midfielder. But Arsenal are unwilling to budge on their £40m valuation of Fabregas.

Barca vice-president Josep Maria Bartomeu left the UK yesterday confident that an agreement can eventually be reached.

Further talks are planned in the next seven days, and could take place as early as this weekend.

Signing Fabregas is now the priority for Barcelona after they completed the signing of Alexis Sanchez from Udinese on Thursday.

The main sticking point to the deal is that Barcelona are unwilling to meet Arsenal's demand for a straight cash deal of £40m and prefer a package based on performances.

Barcelona have been told that even a £35m offer - which would top any of their bids over the last two summers - would not be enough to buy a player who has four years remaining on his contract.

Fabregas has been left in limbo as he waits for his future to be resolved. Sources close to the player have told he wants the deal to be completed "as fast as possible".

It has been confirmed that the midfielder will be absent from the Arsenal squad that flies from Luton airport on Friday lunchtime to Cologne for a five-day training camp in Germany.

The club captain has been undergoing a rehabilitation programme at London Colney as he continues his recovery from a hamstring injury that curtailed his involvement for large chunks of last season.

He is understood to be training every day but his absence from the Germany trip, which includes a friendly against Cologne on Saturday, will not appease those doubting his long-term commitment to Arsenal.

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