Behind the daily parade of Barca players who talk about Cesc Fabregas return to Barca in the emotional terms of a homecoming or a Homeric saga - is the fact that Barca might not be able to afford him.
They took out a bank loan to cover player and employee wages and they have now set themselves a transfer limit of 50 million euros. Still healthy and far more than about 95% of the clubs - including Arsenal.
But with the Gunners digging their heels and rejecting a 35 million euro bid, the margin for landing him are getting slim. Sandro Rosell, the new Barca president has warned that the club will need to put into place "austerity measures". Other indications are shifting priorities- Pep Guardiola maybe targeting Juan Mata of Valencia. Even Sergio Busquets seems to accept that landing Fabregas might be very difficult.