Manchester City to make opening €37m bid in battle for Fabregas

The Premier League champions want to bring the Barcelona midfielder back to England in light speculation surrounding Yaya Toure’s future, but Arsenal are also in the race

By Wayne Veysey

Manchester City are preparing to table a €37 million offer for Cesc Fabregas amid interest from his former club Arsenal, Goal understands.

The Premier League champions have decided to make a formal move for the Barcelona midfielder, who has been told he can leave Camp Nou this summer.

City are ready to bid imminently for Fabregas in an attempt to lure the 27-year-old back to the Premier League, while Goal also understands Arsenal have not ruled out a move for their former captain, with the Gunners closely monitoring his situation.

The Londoners are preparing to put together a package to compete with City in the race for the midfielder, who remains on good terms with manager Arsene Wenger despite effectively going on strike to force through his transfer to Barcelona in 2011.

There is also interest from Liverpool and Chelsea, who are in the market for a central midfielder after Frank Lampard confirmed he is leaving the club.

Goal revealed in May that Barcelona would listen to offers for Fabregas this summer as they looked to free up funds to reshape their midfield.

Barca and their new coach Luis Enrique are looking to sign Atletico Madrid midfielder Koke and have told Fabregas he can find a new club.

Under the terms of the buy-back clause in Fabregas’ Barcelona contract, the Catalan club would have to inform Arsenal of any bid for the player and give them the opportunity to match it.

City are ready to make the first move for Fabregas amid growing uncertainty over the future of Yaya Toure, who has made it clear he is not entirely happy at the Etihad Stadium.

Wenger also remains a huge admirer of Fabregas and is weighing up a move for his former protege despite appearing to have a wealth of technically adept attacking midfielders in his squad. The pair spoke regularly on the phone last summer about the Spain international returning to the club where he blossomed into one of Europe’s outstanding young midfielders.

The Barca academy graduate is at a crossroads in his career as he enters the final two years of his contract with the Catalan club in July.

Fabregas was jeered by home supporters during Barcelona’s 2-1 home victory over Athletic Bilbao in April and became a scapegoat towards the end of last season.

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