Given the go-ahead to break Manchester United’s transfer record, David Moyes’ frustration at the Cesc Fabregas saga is growing by the day.
The former Everton chief is determined to make the Spanish international, 26, the first marquee signing of his Old Trafford tenure, and is willing to spend £36m to ensure it happens.
But with Tito Vilanova quitting his Barcelona post for health reasons, yet another stumbling block has emerged within one of the most drawn-out transfer stories of the summer.
Not guaranteed a starting berth at the Nou Camp, Fabregas himself is keen to add spark to a United midfield widely considered the weakest aspect of their current squad, and his arrival would considerably bolster the Red Devils’ hopes of justifying their 9/4 price for title glory.
However, Gerardo Martino is reluctant to make one of his first acts as Barca chief the sanctioning of the sale of a fan favourite, in the hope of remaining onside with the fanatical Catalan supporters.
And thus, Fabregas, who is believed to have already discussed and agreed upon personal terms with United, remains in Nou Camp limbo.
Handing in a transfer request would appear to be the dynamic midfielder’s most viable option, and Fabregas may be forced to risk upsetting supporters of former club Arsenal by declaring a preference to move to United in that instance also.
Indeed, the Gunners have first option on their former captain, but Fabregas’ head has been firmly turned by interest from Old Trafford, where he believes he can compete for silverware more seriously.
Arsenal’s 11/1 quote for the Premier League title supports this notion, and the lure of reuniting with a Robin Van Persie at the peak of his powers is now looking too difficult for Fabregas to resist.
Until he formally outlines his desire to leave Barcelona however, United must continue to play the waiting game.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.