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Barca warned to stop 'messing about'

Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood says Barcelona have been "messing about for a year and a half" over Cesc Fabregas and that his club are now close to ending the negotiations.

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The Fabregas saga has dominated headlines since the end of the 2009-10 campaign, with the player having indicated that he wants to return but no agreement between the clubs.

It had been expected that a deal would be agreed in the coming days, but Hill-Wood insists Arsenal are still waiting for a credible offer and are considering terminating the talks.

"They have been messing about for a year and a half now and they have got to make up their minds," Hill-Wood told the Daily Star. "The ball is in their court. They have made one bid of around £26 million and another rather tentative one.

"If they want to buy the player they are going to have to pay the right price - and when you look at what is being paid elsewhere I don't think what we are asking is at all unreasonable."

Asked whether Arsenal are close to calling off the negotiations, Hill-Wood added: "We are getting close to that."

The Daily Mirror says Arsenal have sent Barcelona an email saying any deal must be completed before August 5.

Hill-Wood also confirmed Arsenal have seen a bid rejected for Everton centre-back Phil Jagielka, which was reported to be £10 million.

"We have made a bid for him but they didn't think it was enough," Hill-Wood said. "It is very busy but nothing is actually happening."

Arsenal are also said to be looking to sign Valencia star Juan Mata, with Sky Sports News claiming negotiations began on Thursday night, and the Daily Star says they retain an interest in Lille's Eden Hazard.

Hill-Wood added: "We are trying to buy a few players but it isn't going to happen overnight."

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