Barcelona unwilling to pay Arsenal valuation of Cesc Fabregas

Sandro Rosell, the Barcelona president, says the club is baulking at the £35m price-tag for the midfielder they say is doing “all he can” to join.

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Sandro Rosell, the Barcelona president, has admitted the Catalan club are unwilling to pay Arsenal's £35 million (Dh208.6m) valuation of their captain Cesc Fabregas, but said the midfielder is doing "all he can" to join Pep Guardiola's side.

Fabregas' wish to join Barca — where he started out as a youth player — is no secret, although the midfielder claimed he was happy at Arsenal just last week.

But the Gunners captain, who left Barca at 16, also admitted he dreams of playing at Camp Nou and Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood revealed there had been contact with the Catalan club this week, saying Fabregas' desire to return home was "understandable".

In a similar stance to last summer, when Barca had two bids turned down for the player, Rosell claimed the Catalan club would not pay over the odds for the midfielder.

"He [Cesc] is doing everything he can to come [here]," the Barca president told Catalan station TV3 last night.

"Guardiola knows the values of players and Cesc's is less than €40m. Barcelona will offer less and if they [Arsenal] don't accept, then he won't come. Pep knows the club is not well-off in terms of money."

Meanwhile, Barca are expected to seal the signature of Chile forward Alexis Sanchez this week from Udinese, but Rosell appeared cautious.

"There is nothing closed with Alexis," he said.

Rosell also revealed that the fullback Eric Abidal had rejected a new contract offer from the club and admitted relations with the Real Madrid president Florentino Perez were "on standby" after their failure to act against doping allegations aimed at Barca last season by radio station Cadena COPE.

"I haven't spoken to Florentino Perez since the last game [against Madrid]," he said.

"My relationship with him is on standby because there are wounds that are still not closed and that need to scar."

COPE claimed the allegations came from a senior director and Rosell says Real's lukewarm denial has failed to convince him of the innocence of Barca's greatest rivals.

"Actions speak louder than words and it's not that I don't believe Florentino Perez, but I would believe him more if Real Madrid had taken COPE to court," he said.