By DAN KARELL
Barcelona has made it clear. Cesc Fabregas is in their plans for the coming season.
After Manchester United earlier this week made a bid thought to be around €30 million ($39.3 million) for the Spanish National Team member Barcelona have pushed right back, rejecting it and inferring that Fabregas is someone they won’t be transferring away from the Camp Nou.
Fabregas has struggled to be in the first XI for most of his two seasons, making plenty of appearances but clearly being looked as the first guy off the bench in big matches. With Barca’s sale of Thiago, Fabregas should have even more first team chances this coming season.
To their credit, David Moyes and Man United remain committed to trying to bring Fabregas and/or other targets into the club ahead of the start of the Premier League season on August 17.
Here are some more stories to get your Friday kicked off:
ARSENAL MAKE FINAL BID FOR HIGUAIN
Though it seemed a mere formality that Gonzalo Higuain would be an Arsenal player just a week or two ago, Real Madrid has made signing the Argentine increasingly more difficult.
Higuain, who last season announced his intention to leave the Spanish club, has reportedly agreed to a contract with Arsenal, and is just waiting for Arsenal to pay the transfer fee. Madrid have raised the fee to upwards of €40 million, while Arsenal have made one final offer for Higuain of €26 million ($34 million).
If Arsenal doesn’t sign Higuain, they’ll look towards targets in the English Premier League, namely Luis Suarez and Wayne Rooney.
PSG CLOSING IN ON MARQUINHOS DEAL
AS Roma defender Marquinhos has arrived in Paris on Friday morning ahead of a big money transfer to Paris Saint-Germain.
The 19-year-old Brazilian said his goodbyes at Roma’s training facility in Trigoria on Thursday, and sent out a tweet on Twitter saying his goodbyes to his fans in Italy, though he didn’t confirm his potential destination.
However, it’s all but certain that the youngster will be a PSG player as of the end of Friday, with the French club finalizing a deal for a total of €35 million ($45.9 million). PSG have already spent €79 million ($103.6 million) this week on new signings Edinson Cavani and Lucas Digne.
FIORENTINA CONFIRM JOVETIC DEAL
Just when it seemed like maybe he wouldn’t be leaving after all, Manchester City have come to terms with Fiorentina over the transfer of Stevan Jovetic.
The versatile 23-year-old forward is in Manchester for a medical after Fiorentina confirmed his departure from the club, agreeing a transfer fee of €30 million in total (€26+4 in bonuses). Jovetic’s arrival at the Etihad makes him the second forward signed this week, with the English club confirming the Alvaro Negredo transfer on Friday.
Last season, Jovetic scored 13 goals in 31 Serie A appearances as Fiorentina finished fourth in the league.
Liverpool have signed a two-year contract extension with Standard Chartered to keep the bank as the club’s shirt sponsor. (REPORT)
Napoli are nearing a €25 million transfer deal to sign Leandro Damiao from Internacional, while the Italian side are also close to signing his national team teammate Julio Cesar. (REPORT)
After all the noise about potential moves back to Brazil within the last seven months, 29-year-old Robinho has decided to sign a new contract at AC Milan through 2016. (REPORT)
Stoke City are offering free travel to all Premier League road games for fans wanting to make the trip, in a move that’s believed to be a first in all professional leagues in England. (REPORT)
Just 18 days after starting their own TV station, Benfica TV already has 80,000 subscribers. The club decided to keep their broadcasting rights in-house for a fee this season. (REPORT)
What do you think of these reports? Do you see Fabregas receiving more playing time this season? Do you see Arsenal signing Higuain after all? Amazed at PSG’s spending?
Share your thoughts below.