Football

Barca baulk at Fabregas fee

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Barcelona president Sandro Rosell has admitted the Catalan club are unwilling to pay Arsenal's £35million valuation of their captain Cesc Fabregas, but says the midfielder is doing "all he can" to join Pep Guardiola's side.

Fabregas, who left Barca at 16, has admitted he dreams of playing for the Nou Camp side and Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood revealed there had been contact with the Catalan club this week, saying Fabregas' desire to return home was "understandable".

But Rosell claimed the Catalan club would not pay over the odds for the midfielder, and told Catalan station TV3 on Monday night: "He (Cesc) is doing everything he can to come (here). Guardiola knows the values of players and Cesc's is less than 40million (euros). Barcelona will offer less and if they (Arsenal) don't accept, then he won't come. Pep knows the club is not well-off in terms of money."

Meanwhile, Barca are expected to seal the signature of Chile forward Alexis Sanchez this week from Udinese, but Rosell appeared cautious.

"There is nothing closed with Alexis," he said.

Rosell also revealed that full-back Eric Abidal had rejected a new contract offer from the club and admitted relations with Real Madrid president Florentino Perez were "on standby" after their failure to act against doping allegations aimed at Barca last season by radio station Cadena COPE.

"I haven't spoken to Florentino Perez since the last game (against Madrid)," he said.

"My relationship with him is on standby because there are wounds that are still not closed and that need to scar."

COPE claimed the allegations came from a senior Madrid director and Rosell says Real's lukewarm denial has failed to convince him of the innocence of Barca's greatest rivals.

"Actions speak louder than words and it's not that I don't believe Florentino Perez, but I would believe him more if Real Madrid had taken COPE to court," he said.

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