Between Gervinho’s forehead and Juan Mata’s chin (above) Arsenal
should score a number of goals
The 10 day deadline set by Arsenal seems to have worked as Barca after forging a war by proxy actually flew in Josep Maria Bartomeu, their vice president and director Raul Sanllehi to London to negotiate for Cesc Fabregas’s transfer.
Their new bid reported at £33.5m will still be short of Arsenal’s valuation of £40m. Fabregas did not leave with the club for their Cologne fixture ostensibly because of injury but the more likely reason was to await the outcome of these talks. An educated guess would be Barca incrementally creeping towards that valuation but still falling short.
Which might mean forcing Fabregas’s hand to publicly declare his disaffection with Arsenal. A situation everyone most of all Wenger would like to avoid. It could all end amicably by acceding to a revised amount. There are other reasons to do so.
Wenger is keen that Barca meet their valuation but he’s equally of the mind if Fabregas should depart there be enough time left in the transfer window for a suitable replacement.
There is enough reason to believe reports emerging from Valencia that Juan Mata is now on the pipeline. A sum between £35 and £40m for Fabregas plus £7m from Clichy’s transfer should be enough to go after him and a decent centre back. Mata is also said to be on Liverpool’s radar so speed is of the essence.