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Aug 7, 2010

Barca seeking Fabregas alternatives

Barcelona vice-president Josep Maria Bartomeu has said the search for an alternative is already underway after missing out on Cesc Fabregas.

• Fabregas commits to Arsenal

Pep Guardiola had previously indicated that he would be happy to use his youth players to bolster his midfield should Barca fail in their bid for Fabregas, but reports in the Catalan press on Saturday have suggested the likes of Javier Martinez, Juan Mata and Mesut Ozil could be under consideration.

Bartomeu has now said they are already been looking at other options but will give the players from the club's academy the chance to prove themselves before going into the market.

"First we'll look at the B team and then we'll take a decision," he said. "We never start from scratch - the club is always working on these things."

There had been suggestions Alexander Hleb could be given another chance, but Bartomeu says Hleb, Martin Caceres and Victor Sanchez are all set to go out on loan. "We are talking to a few clubs about loaning them out. There are different options and we are looking at what is best for the club and the players."

Bartomeu also insisted Barca had no intention of making a fresh offer for Fabregas this summer.

"We made two offers - one in June and another at the beginning of August - but Arsenal didn't want to sell him and they didn't accept our offers," he said. "They didn't put a price on him - they just declared he was not for sale.

"We made a reasonable offer, a common sense amount, but they just said 'no'. There was no mention of a counter offer. If Arsenal had wanted to sell, Cesc was more than willing."

He added: "The current board found ourselves dealing with a club, Arsenal, who were angry at Barca." Bartomeu claimed the relations between the clubs had now been repaired but said: "What is certain is that the Cesc saga is over for this summer."

Bartomeu said the failure to sign the Arsenal captain was "economically positive" but that "it's bad news for sporting and sentimental reasons".

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