Manchester United are preparing to submit a third bid for Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas, a source has told ESPN, but they are "wasting their time" Gerard Pique says.
United have now had two offers for the Spanish midfielder rejected by Barcelona, with reports in Spain suggesting Barca president Sandro Rosell has written to the Old Trafford club to insist he will not be selling the former Arsenal midfielder this summer.
Yet United seem undeterred and their latest bid for Fabregas is believed to represent a club record offer, with a figure of £35 million mentioned in several British newspapers on Tuesday morning.
However, many of those reports also conclude that David Moyes and Old Trafford vice-chairman Ed Woodward may now be embroiled in a fruitless campaign to sign Fabregas, with the Barcelona apparently unwilling to do business.
United’s decision to submit a third bid for the 26-year-old appears to suggest they are not yet ready to give up on the chief transfer target for this summer, with manager Moyes happy to speak openly about progress on the potential deal in his media briefings on United’s pre-season tour.
But Pique insists Fabregas has told his Barca team-mates that he will stay in Spain.
Pique told The Sun: “United are wasting their time. It took a long time for Cesc to get his dream move back home and he won’t give it up. This is home, it is where his family is, and he is playing with his closest friends.
“He has told us he is happy and that he intends to stay with Barcelona.”
Moyes and his squad have now touched down in Japan after spending a week in Australia, and the tour agenda continues to be dominated by their ongoing pursuit of Fabregas.
While United’s desire to sign Fabregas appears to be as strong as ever, the noises coming out of the Barcelona camp suggests they may struggle to strike a deal with the Catalan club, who are currently in the process of appointing a new head coach following Tito Vilanova’s resignation last Friday.
Moyes suggested in his most recent press briefing that he was keen to give a potential deal "every opportunity to materialise" and it appears as if he is about to be given a final answer from Barcelona in his drive to sign Fabregas.