MANCHESTER UNITED are said to be preparing a club record bid of £35m for Barcelona star Cesc Fabregas.
Their opening offer of £26m hit the headlines before being rejected by Barcelona officials, with their second bid of £30m being immediately dismissed by new manager Gerardo Martino who insisted they would not sell Fabregas for any price.
"I'm not going to involve myself in the club's accounts, but considering the club has already rejected two offers, I would guess it will reject a third," Martino said last week.
"In other words, Fabregas will remain here."
However, Moyes could be about to break their club-record transfer fee – set in 2008 when Sir Alex Ferguson signed Dimitar Berbatov for £30.75m – as they search for a central midfielder to fill the hole left by the retired Paul Scholes.
Fabregas is believed to have told friends in England that he would be open to a move back to the Premier League, although he has at no point expressed a desire to leave the Nou Camp after the Catalan club fought to sign him from his former club Arsenal.
Arsenal do have a buy-back option for £25m but have chosen not to follow up that option at this time, with Arsene Wenger suggesting that he doesn’t think Fabregas will be leaving Barcelona this year, but a bid of £35m may be enough to at least force president Sandro Rosell to at least consider the offer.
Should United fail to make any headway with Fabregas, they could switch targets to try and sign Everton’s Marouane Fellaini or Real Madrid’s Luka Modric, with reports yesterday claiming that United are exploring the possibility of bringing the Croation back to the Premier League after just one season in Spain.