Manchester United have seen their odds of signing Cesc Fabregas cut after reports this morning suggested the former Arsenal skipper is open to the prospect of joining the champions from Barcelona.
Red boss David Moyes has already seen two bids for the 26-year-old dismissed by the Catalans, who are adamant, in public at least, that the playmaker will not be allowed to leave the Nou Camp.
However, various sources claim today that Fabregas has told friends he would be willing to move to United if he does not receive assurances about his playing time from incoming Barca boss Gerardo Martino.
With Moyes admitting that his pursuit of the Spaniard is “ongoing”, an improved £35m offer is expected from United in the coming days as they aim to give the La Liga giants a decision to make.
The latest reports have prompted the bwin bookmakers to slash the price on Fabregas moving to United this summer from 39/20 to 31/20.
Next week is likely to be crucial in the outcome of one of the summer’s increasingly prominent transfer sagas as Fabregas returns from holiday on Monday and will presumably seek talks with Martino.
Arsenal have first refusal on their ex-captain after inserting a buy-back clause into the deal that took him to Barca in 2011 and are believed to be monitoring developments closely.
Boss Arsene Wenger has plenty of money to spend – as shown by his audacious attempt to sign Liverpool’s Luis Suarez – and would surely consider moving for Fabregas if United receive encouragement about his availability.
However, the Gunners have been on the drift in the past couple of days and are now 9/2 to re-sign Fabregas this summer, having been as short as 2/1 in recent weeks.
Barca are still odds-on at 9/20 to hold on to the player beyond the current transfer window, while it is 16/1 and higher that he signs for other clubs by September 4th.