Barca have already had one offer of £27 million turned down and, while Wenger and the Arsenal hierachy were adamant last summer that they would not consider a valuation below £45 million, there is a hope at Barcelona that a compromise can be reached at around £35 million.
Everything is likely to depend on the attitude of manager Arsène Wenger and whether he gave Fàbregas any private reassurances last summer when he turned down two Barcelona bids. Publicly, Wenger has always sounded confident that Fàbregas will stay. From Arsenal’s perspective, there is the sense that he has much more to give the team. The Spanish international has played for Spain in the European Championship, Confederations Cup and World Cup during the past three summers, so this will be his first season with a decent summer rest since 2007.
With Arsenal linked to Ricardo Alvarez as Fabregas’s replacement, it makes you wonder whether Wenger will actually buy the Argentinian midfielder, especially with Aaron Ramsey back to full fitness, and with Nasri more than capable of filling Fabregas’ position. So maybe Alvarez will only arrive if Fabregas leaves.