United’s latest Fab bid rejected

Barcelona have turned down Manchester United’s latest bid for Cesc Fabregas and have told the Premier League champions the midfielder is not for sale.

United confirmed yesterday that they had submitted an improved bid — understood to be £30 million plus add-ons for Fabregas — but reports in Spain claim that has been turned down.

“Fabregas is not for sale,” a Barcelona source said last night. “The president (Sandro Rosell) has been very clear with Man United.”

Earlier, United manager David Moyes conceded that there would come a point when they would have to give up on their pursuit of the former Arsenal captain but said that point had not yet been reached.

“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 will hope things will continue to move forward.

“At this moment in time I can only tell you (executive vice-chairman) Ed Woodward is working hard to try and make the deals happen. We hope some of them will fall into place shortly.”

Moyes, however, can understand why some United supporters are starting to get anxious about the lack of summer arrivals.

Despite being linked with a host of big names, Moyes is still to make his first significant signing as United boss.

A move for Thiago Alcantara ended in failure, with the 22-year-old opting to link up with his former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich while the pursuit of Fabregas now looks similarly doomed.

Moyes has also been linked with marquee signings Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale, plus Everton duo Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini respectively.

Moyes can certainly understand why supporters are getting agitated, although he feels there are extenuating circumstances which were always likely to make life difficult this summer.

“I can understand that feeling,” he said.

“But there have been quite a few changes. Other managers have changed their clubs too and everybody thought this might be the summer when transfers are done later in the month.

“That was always the thought I had when I came into the club.

“You have to remember I only started on July 1, so in truth I have only been in the job three weeks at this present time.”

Ideally, though, Moyes would have players integrated prior to the opening game at Swansea on August 17 given Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City must all be faced in those tricky opening weeks.

His pre-season squad has at least been bolstered by the arrivals of Chris Smalling and Ashley Young, who have shaken off foot and ankle problems respectively.

In addition, local hero Shinji Kagawa has linked up with his team-mates, the undoubted star attraction for two matches in Japan that open with a meeting against J.League outfit Yokohama F Marinos today in the stadium where United won the 2008 Club World Cup.

“They probably won’t start in this game but I want to get them involved,” Moyes said.

“Young and Smalling have been training very hard back home and, although Shinji has been on holiday, he has been training.

“We will involve the three players as we go along.”


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