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Spanish giants poised to make first move

Barcelona are preparing to make their first official approach to Arsenal to sign Cesc Fabregas today by faxing through an offer in the region of £30 million, Goal.com UK can reveal.

The La Liga champions will make their first formal move after informing Arsenal last week that they were interested in prising the midfielder from Emirates Stadium.

The north Londoners are certain to reject the offer as they reinforce their stance to hang on to Fabregas.

Barcelona are convinced that Fabregas will join them this summer after he flew into London from his Spanish base last week to tell manager Arsene Wenger of his desire to leave the club and return to his boyhood team.

The Primera Division champions believe it is only a matter of time before they agree a deal, although the negotiations could become protracted as Arsenal hold out for a £50m fee for a player they believe is one of the most sought after in the world.

Wenger and the Arsenal board retain the hope that Fabregas can be talked around and, if not, they will hold out for a fee of record-breaking proportions.

Chairman Peter Hill-Wood became the first Arsenal official to go on the record last Friday as he told Goal.com UK that the board have made it clear to Barcelona that the player is not for sale and questioned the European champions’ “funny” tactics of pursuing the player through the Spanish media.

“The message has been given to them we don’t want to lose him and will do our damnedest to keep him,” said Hill-Wood. “We haven’t had an official approach from them and have made it perfectly clear we don’t want to lose him.”

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If it becomes clear that Fabregas will not return to the club that he has graced for seven years since moving to Arsenal as a 16-year-old, the Gunners will hold out as long as possible in order to drive up the price.


The feeling at Emirates Stadium is that if Fabregas goes on to star in the World Cup then the player’s value could be driven up towards the £80m figure that Real Madrid paid for Cristiano Ronaldo last summer.

It emerged today that the Spanish FA have given Barcelona the green light to negotiate with Fabregas in the build-up to the World Cup - meaning a deal could be struck by 9 June - the day after Spain's final warm-up match against Poland.

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