Arsenal give Barca 2 weeks to pay for Cesc

Arsenal have given Catalan outfit Barcelona 2 weeks to cough up the cash for Cesc Fabregás.

Otherwise the wantaway Spanish midfield star will stay put at the gunners.

A Barcelona source said last night: “Arsenal FC have let it be known that unless a deal for Fabregás is sorted by the end of the month then he will stay in London.

“They said although they never wanted to sell their captain they were prepared to reluctantly accept Cesc’s request to come home to Barcelona.

“Arsenal have insisted they have been very fair to Fabregás and Barcelona and this situation is not healthy for neither and has to end.

“They are not prepared to wait much longer and after staying silent throughout the summer, they will issue a public statement to draw a line under this matter at the start of next month.

“We understand there is no way they will sell Fabregás for what we offered but the decision rests with Sandro Rossell, the Barca president.”

Fabregas, who is injured, sat out Arsenal’s trip to Asia, will have talks with Arsene Wenger today after the team’s return to London.

The Arsenal boss said Cesc is set to travel with them to Cologne for a friendly next Friday – and that will pile up the pressure on president Rossell to pay up the full asking price for the player.

Wenger said: “We will have to see how far Cesc is with his injury.

“Normally, yes I expect him to come to Cologne. He is not back in full training, he is back running on the pitch and the next step is to be back in full training. I will assess him on Monday.

“He is in my plans for the rest of pre-season. The problem is we face speculation from everywhere but my target is the same, to keep the players.”

Therefore, after weeks of what they see as insulting behaviour – like Barcelona midfielder Xavi’s statement last week that Cesc is ‘suffering’ at Arsenal – the North London club have said enough is enough.

The European champions have so far offered £31.6m which was instantly rejected by Arsenal for their star player and one of the world’s best midfielders.

If Arsenal were to put Cesc up for auction then Chelsea and Manchester City would certainly be prepared to raise the stakes to over £50m.

Wenger is fighting to convince Cesc Fabregás to stay at Arsenal and it looks increasingly likely Barcelona will miss out on him again, unless they are prepared this time to put their money where their mouth is.