Wednesday 18 October 2017

Moyes pondering third Fabregas approach

Utd are reported to be ready to offer Barcelona in excess of their club record transfer of £30.8m
Utd are reported to be ready to offer Barcelona in excess of their club record transfer of £30.8m

Mark Ogden

David Moyes will discuss with chief executive Ed Woodward the next move in Manchester United's pursuit of Cesc Fabregas within 24 hours after returning from the club's tour of the Far East.

United concluded their three-week tour of Asia and Australia last night with a 5-2 win against Kitchee FC at the Hong Kong Stadium.

While Moyes has given his squad two days off to recover from the draining five-game tour, the Scot is expected to hold talks with Woodward to accelerate efforts to sign Fabregas and reaffirm the commitment to keeping Wayne Rooney at the club, despite Chelsea's bid for the England forward.

When asked following the victory in Hong Kong whether there had been any progress regarding Fabregas or Rooney, he said there had been no update from Woodward.

However, Moyes' return to Manchester, following Woodward's departure from the tour two weeks ago to conduct "urgent transfer business", will enable the pair to discuss the feasibility of a third bid for Fabregas following Barcelona's rejection of offers of £26m and £30m in the past month.

Fabregas returned to training at the Nou Camp yesterday after an extended summer break due to his participation at the Confederations Cup with Spain.

The 26-year-old was pictured undergoing his annual medical at the club, but the former Arsenal captain has created uncertainty over his future in Catalonia by remaining silent on his intentions.

United believe that Fabregas is keen to return to the Premier League, but a lack of progress with Barcelona could force Moyes to look elsewhere with the season less than three weeks away.

Despite concerns over the state of the pitch in Hong Kong, United emerged unscathed from their victory against Kitchee in a game enlivened by goals from youngsters Jesse Lingard and Adnan Januzaj. Moyes has yet to decide whether to keep the pair in his Premier League squad or loan them out.

With United winning two and losing two of their five tour fixtures, Moyes said that his squad were moving towards the required fitness levels ahead of the Community Shield clash with Wigan on August 11.

"I think the players are doing really well. I think they're very close just now. I think the conditions will make the games a little bit easier as far as fitness goes and we've got another four or five more players to join the squads when we get back.

"The players are looking in good shape just now."

United step up their pre-season preparations against AIK in Stockholm next Tuesday, a game likely to involve Rooney should his recovery from a hamstring injury continue as planned.

After three weeks in the Far East and Australia, Moyes believes he and the squad are now more relaxed together following his appointment as successor to Alex Ferguson.

"I'm a bit more relaxed because of being around the players and them getting to know me. And I think they'll feel a wee bit the same way with a new manager coming in and I've enjoyed being with them." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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