Manchester United are considering shattering their record transfer fee to sign Cesc Fábregas, after Barcelona rejected their second bid of £30m (Rs 275 crore approximately) for the Spain midfielder.
United, who made the offer before Tito Vilanova resigned as coach on Friday, were privately given the same response as before - that the 26-year-old is “completely nontransferable”.
The champions are weighing up whether to make what could be their final play for their No1 target in the region of £35m - surpassing the £30.75m they paid to sign Dimitar Berbatov from Tottenham Hotspur in 2008.
Barcelona have reached an agreement with Gerardo Martino and much may depend on whether the 50-year-old, whose coaching jobs have included Paraguay and, in his native country, Newell’s Old Boys, will want Fábregas to remain at the Camp Nou and become a pivotal part of his plans.
David Moyes said that United could walk away if the deal drags on. Speaking in Tokyo on United’s pre-season tour, the manager said that Ed Woodward, the club’s executive vice-president, was dealing with negotiations. “My understanding is that Ed’s had a response and he’s spoken with them and again we’ve made a second offer,” he said. “But Ed’s dealing with that, rather than me personally here.”
Asked if a stage can be reached where it becomes fruitless to continue, Moyes said: “I think a point does come but I think when you are interested in good players you want to give it every opportunity to materialise. And I’ll do that. I’ll hope that things can continue to move forward. At this moment I can only tell you that Ed Woodward is working hard to make the deals happen and we’re hoping some of them will fall into place shortly.”
Moyes, who has been joined by Shinji Kagawa, Chris Smalling and Ashley Young in Tokyo, is clear that United must move on from Sir Alex Ferguson and enter the “David Moyes era”. While always respectful of Ferguson, the manager is intent on writing his own history as he prepares United for their title defence.
That is why he brought in Steve Round, Phil Neville, Jimmy Lumsden and Chris Woods from Everton to join his backroom staff, he said, while embracing Ryan Giggs as player-coach.