Manchester United have improved their bid for former Arsenal skipper Cesc Fabregas to £30m – but their price of signing the Barcelona man this summer is on the drift.
The Reds lodged an opening offer of £26m last week which was rebuffed by the Spanish giants, who insisted they have no interest in selling the midfield maestro.
New executive vice-president Ed Woodward has since flown home from United’s pre-season tour in order to ramp up the club’s transfer business, with bringing Fabregas back to the Premier League thought to be top of his agenda.
However, the bwin bookies are not convinced that United can pull off the sensational coup, pushing them out from 37/20 to 39/20 to complete the deal this summer, despite news of their second offer.
“My understanding is that Ed’s had a response and he’s spoken with them and again we’ve made a second offer,” said United boss David Moyes when asked about Fabregas.
“I think a point does come [when it is pointless to continue chasing a player] but I think when you are interested in good players you want to give it every opportunity to materialise.”
United’s audacious swoop for Fabregas could be complicated further by the sudden departure of Barca boss Tito Vilanova, who stepped down over the weekend due to health concerns.
While it remains to be seen how the new manager of the La Liga champions will view Fabregas in his plans, he is as short as 7/20 to still be strutting his stuff for them next term.
Arsenal, who have so far kept their transfer powder dry this summer, have a first option clause on the 26-year-old as part of the deal which took him to the Nou Camp in 2011.
Boss Arsene Wenger admitted last week that he would be interested in activating that should United see a bid accepted, but also claimed that he believes Fabregas will remain at Barca for one more season.
Still, the Gunners are priced as 3/1 second-favourites to re-sign their former hero – in from 7/2 – with all other clubs 25/1 and upwards to secure his services before the current transfer window slams shut.