Cesc Fabregas still dreams of Barcelona, claims Gerard Pique, but Arsenal skipper could be priced out of switch
By SPORTSMAIL REPORTER Last updated at 5:17 PM on 17th November 2010
Going nowhere: Arsenal rejected Barcelona’s advances for Cesc Fabregas last summer
Gerard Pique insists that Cesc Fabregas still wants to join him at Barcelona – but Camp Nou commentators have described a new move for the Arsenal captain as ‘near impossible’.
The Spanish champions failed in a very public fight to sign the Gunners skipper last summer and have been tipped to try again at the end of the season.
Spain international Pique, who counts himself as a close pal of the 23-year-old, insists Fabregas would jump at the chance.
‘We’ve shared a friendship for many years and I know his hopes and the hope he has of someday wearing the Barcelona shirt,’ Pique told Spanish journalists. ‘I hope one day he will fulfil his dream. I know the satisfaction it brings and I hope he can accomplish it as well.’
However, that day could be a long way off, if noises coming out of Catalonia are to be believed.
Barca have clinched the bargain January signing from PSV Eindhoven of Ibrahim Afellay, the Holland playmaker who would have been out of contract next summer. And the £2.5million incomer appears to be a cheap alternative to Fabregas.
Jose Luis Carazo, a respected columnist with Catalan newspaper Sport, reports that a move for the Emirates Stadium idol is increasingly fraught with difficulty at a club struggling with debts and cashflow problems.
Not cheap: A move for Fabregas could cost Barca around £85m in total
Barca’s bid last summer of less than £30m was considered derisory by Arsenal and the Catalans don’t expect a much softer stance at the end of the season.
It is estimated that prising him from north London would cost a total of about £85m when the fee, salary and commissions are taken into account – which is way beyond what Barca can afford.