BARCELONA have cast further doubt on the prospect of Cesc Fabregas leaving Arsenal for his native Catalonia this summer by insisting his value has fallen over the last 12 months.
The European Champions say they are not prepared to offer the £35m they tabled for Fabregas last year because the 24-year-old – who made just 29 starts last season – has suffered “wear and tear”.
Barca president Sandro Rosell said: “If last summer we offered £35m for Cesc, and since there has been wear and tear, now he’s worth less.”
Gunners manager Arsene Wenger has stressed his desire to keep his captain, despite the midfielder’s wish to rejoin the team with which he began his career.
Barcelona know that Wenger will only listen to a huge offer, but appear to be trying to drive down the price by making public pronouncements.
Barca are £430m in debt and last week declared their summer budget stood at £40m, plus anything they recoup from sales.