Francesc Fabregas

Manchester United thinks Cesc Fabregas can help it stay atop the English soccer mountain, and it is prepared to spend more than it ever has in order to sign him from Barcelona.

United has made two formal transfer offers recently — £26 million ($39.5 million) and £30 million ($45.5 million). Barcelona rejected both of them.  Not to be deterred, the Red Devils will submit a third bid in the near future. If Barcelona accepts it, the fee would break United’s transfer record, according to the Manchester Evening News.

“Despite already having bids of £26m and £30m rejected by the Spanish giants, the 26-year-old remains the Reds’ No.1 transfer target.

“United’s third offer will break the club’s record £30.8 million [$46.8 million], which they paid Spurs for Dimitar Berbatov in 2008.”

Barcelona has made repeated assertions that Fabregas is not for sale, and Fabregas has vowed to remain at Barcelona.

But United believes he would consider a move to Old Trafford if Barcelona decides to sell him. The reigning Premier League champion is looking to strengthen its midfield ahead of the 2013-14 campaign, and it appears it will spare no expense to land the FIFA World Cup winner.

Fabregas spent eight years at Arsenal before joining Barcelona in 2011. While he has claimed coveted silverware with Barcelona (five trophies in two seasons), he has failed to win over fans and coaches and cement a place in the starting lineup. He has often played out of position or watched Barcelona’s biggest games from the bench.

Arsenal is also rumored to be interested in bringing Fabregas back to North London. The Gunners have first rights of refusal on him as part of the £25.4 million ($38.4 million) transfer that took him to Barcelona. If United makes the expected record-breaking offer and Barcelona accepts, Arsenal can choose to match the fee and negotiate with the player or watch another one of its heroes join a rival.

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