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Arsenal must end season on a high

Arsenal
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Barcelona: Fabregas worth £53m

Barcelona vice president Josep Maria Bartomeu has admitted that Cesc Fabregas is probably worth the £53 million Arsenal initially demanded, after watching some of his early performances for the Spanish side.

• Wilshere blow for Arsenal

The two clubs were involved in protracted negotiations for Fabregas' signature that went on for more than 12 months, with the Spanish champions initially put off by Arsenal's valuation of their prized asset.

After much wrangling a deal worth an initial £25 million was agreed this summer, with that figure potentially rising by a further £10 million based on various incentives and clauses. Fabregas has since made a great start to his career at Camp Nou, and Bartomeu has now acknowledged that perhaps Arsenal's initial valuation was fair all along.

"After seeing the work he's done since his arrival it is true that Cesc meets the €60 million (£53 million) valuation Arsenal initially demanded," Bartomeu told Sport. "The kid is demonstrating a high level and quality in three weeks of training. The transfer was very good. In a market that is so open Cesc is worth a lot of money.

"It was complicated to close the deal," he said. "The negotiations were very hard."

Fabregas has already won both the European Super Cup and Spanish Super Cup since moving to Barcelona, scoring in the former.

Arsenal, however, have been forced to react after losing Fabregas and fellow midfielder Samir Nasri towards the end of the summer transfer window - signing Mikel Arteta and Yossi Benayoun as replacements on deadline day.

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