Sunday 17 December 2017

Video: Guardiola prepared to play waiting game in pursuit of Fabregas

Rory Smith

BARCELONA manager Pep Guardiola raised the stakes yesterday in his pursuit of Cesc Fabregas by going public on the current negotiations with Arsenal over the midfielder's transfer and promising Barcelona will wait all summer if necessary to get their man.

The Spanish side's substantial debt and their determination to sign Udinese's Chilean international winger Alexis Sanchez, for whom a £38m deal is supposed to be concluded this week, had prompted questions over whether Guardiola would have the funds to improve on their original offer of £27m, but in his first press conference of the season yesterday he insisted the club's coffers will stretch to both deals.

"There is some money in Barcelona's bank destined for this player and we will try until the last day of the transfer window to make it happen, because he will make our squad better."

Arsenal are equally adamant, though, that Barcelona's timescale is much briefer than Guardiola would like. Arsene Wenger wants a deal to be concluded by the end of this month at the latest so that uncertainty over Fabregas' future does not overshadow his side's preparation for their season.

Barcelona, on the other hand, seem more sanguine, admitting that for the time being his priority remains the capture of Sanchez. "Our priority is an attacker," said Guardiola.

Sanchez, an erstwhile Chelsea and Manchester City target, could land in Spain as early as tomorrow after Chile's elimination from the Copa America. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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