Manchester United hope a third bid amounting to around £40 million will finally be enough to swing the transfer of Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona, and break the Catalan club's public resistance to a sale.
Despite having had two previous offers of £26 million and £30 million rejected, the Old Trafford club still see Fabregas as their No. 1 target - as reported by the Manchester Evening News.
United’s persistence comes from repeated positive contact with Fabregas’ camp, and the understanding that he would be open to a move in the event of Barcelona accepting a bid.
Old Trafford sources have told ESPN that manager David Moyes had been considering his next move – including weighing up the possibility of moving on to one of three alternative options, one of whom is Real Madrid’s Luka Modric - and decided to continue the pursuit of Fabregas.
United have now put together a package believed to be worth around £40 million, comprising a £35 million basic fee plus add-ons. That would not just represent the symbolically high offer that could make acceptance more palatable for Barcelona, it would also ensure the Catalans made a significant profit on the fee they paid to Arsenal in 2011.
With Barca also intent on signing an world class centre-back this summer, United hope the Primera Division champions’ desire to boost the transfer kitty will further leverage the situation their way.
Thus far, though, Barcelona have adopted a hardline view and insisted the player is not for sale. United also retain an interest in Everton’s Marouane Fellaini but it is understood to be seen as separate to the pursuit of an all-round attacking midfielder of Fabregas’ ilk.