Barcelona opened the bidding. for a player they have tapped up for three seasons, last week when they made an official bid of £27m. The bid was immediately turned down by Arsenal who have a price tag of around £44m on Fabregas.
While everyone was waiting for Barcelona to come back with a new bid, the Spanish newspaper Sport reported yesterday that Real Madrid have made an official offer of 50m Euros (£45m) for Fabregas.
It was a fascinating move by Mourinho who is said to be interested in having Fabregas in his midfield alongside Xabi Alonso, Sami Khedira and Mesut Ozil. Who knows whether his interest in the Arsenal captain is genuine or whether he is just trying to drive up the price that Barcelona will have to pay.
Darren Dein, Cesc Fabregas’ agent has denied that his client will even consider a move to the Bernebeu and has said that if Fabregas is to leave Arsenal he will only move to the Nou Camp.
So today, one day after the Real Madrid bid is made public, we hear that Barcelona have submitted a second offer to Arsenal of £35m for Fabregas. While that is a sizeable jump from their initial lowball offer of £27m last week, it is still about £9m less than Arsenal’s £44m valuation for Fabregas, and £10m less than Real Madrid’s offer.
I am pretty sure that Arsenal will turn down this second offer from Barcelona, which will leave the Spanish and European champions with a simple choice. Either they match Real Madrid’s offer or miss out on the player they have tapped up for the past three summers.
I have no doubt that Fabregas will leave Arsenal this summer for Spain. But because of the bid from Real Madrid, Arsenal might end up getting an additional £10m for their skipper.
The one winner in an Iberian bidding war is Arsenal.