One of the transfer sagas of the summer has seemingly reached its end, and a rather predictable one as far as Manchester United fans are concerned, with the club thought to have given up in their attempt to sign Cesc Fabregas.
The Barcelona midfielder became United’s number one target after his former team-mate Thiago opted to move to Bayern Munich, but the Catalans have so far refused the two bids United have submitted, with some reports claiming the former Arsenal captain was desperate to return to the Premier League, while others believe that Fabregas has about as much intention of joining United as Thiago did.
United were thought to be ready to submit a third and final offer worth £35m, a club record’s fee, and were mildly encouraged by Gerardo Martino’s words.
The Barcelona manager said: “I would prefer him to stay with us and I dare say he will, but it’s his decision. He is one of the best players in the squad. I think he will stay. But there’s a part that he has to decide.”
Alas, the decision has already been made, and by the club, rather than by the players himself. Barcelona sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta told a Spanish newspaper: “Manchester United are interested in the player, but it’s also true that they understand our position of not wanting to sell. They have renounced his signing.
“We aren’t going to sell him.”
The former goalkeeper reiterated the club’s stance, via Barcelona’s official website: “He has a contract with us.
“We count on Cesc. I said that on the day of the presentation of Tito (Vilanova) and also with Tata (new coach Gerardo Martino): He’s an extraordinary player who creates and finishes chances. We are delighted with him. He’s the number four of Barca.”
This, theoretically, should put the Fabregas rumour to be once and for all, but leaves United with less than a month to strengthen their squad, meaning David Moyes could be forced to spend more than he’d like to, as other teams are well aware of United increasing desperate quest for a midfielder.
United kick off their season on Sunday against Wigan in the Community Shield, before traveling to Swansea six days later as they begin the defence of their Premier League title, but Wilfried Zaha, David Moyes and his coaching staff are likely to be the only new faces from the 2012-13 vintage.
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