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Is a title challenge possible for Man Utd?

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By ESPN Staff

Barca happy to play Cesc waiting game

Barcelona president Sandro Rosell has hinted that the club will reignite their interest in Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas this summer despite being frustrated in their approach for the midfielder over the past couple of years.

Fabregas, 23, was the subject of a very public tug-of-war between Camp Nou and Emirates Stadium during the summer, which included a number of players and officials from the Catalan giants speaking openly about their desire to bring him to the club.

But Arsenal refused to entertain the idea of selling their captain and flatly rejected a bid from Barca, though talk about a move for Fabregas has now returned - less than a month before Pep Guardiola's side meet the Gunners in the Champions League last 16.

Former Barca president Joan Laporta was frustrated in his plans to sign Fabregas before stepping down last year, and Rosell was also unable to recruit the midfielder - who was a youth player at the Catalan club - upon taking over in July. But Rosell has hinted that a new move is likely this summer.

"Will we sign Cesc this summer? I'll tell you in June,'' Rosell told reporters at an event in Arenys de Mar on Saturday.

Rosell also hopes right-back Dani Alves will agree to a new deal to remain at the Nou Camp amid reported interest from Manchester City.

"It would be absurd to end our relationship,'' he said. "The two parties will focus on the matter in the best way possible and I am sure there will be no problems - where would he feel better than here?''

Barca, like many clubs in Spain, have spent big over the last few years and are now feeling the pinch of the global financial crisis.

Rosell believes sensible management is called for and says the club's academy - which has already seen the emergence of talents such as Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Leo Messi, Carles Puyol, Gerard Pique and Cesc himself - represents the future for Barca.

"It's important to invest in homegrown players,'' he said. "That's our policy and it's the future of football.''

Three of the players brought through at La Masia - Messi, Xavi and Iniesta - competed for the Ballon D'or earlier this week, with the Argentinian a surprise winner in the end.

Rosell is proud that three Barca players made the final shortlist and says they all deserved the prize.

"All three of them deserved it - I would have been happy whoever won,'' he said. "It is a triumph for the club's model.''

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