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17/07/2013 08:36

Papers: Fab is no.1

The Daily Telegraph's Mark Ogden writes... 

United confident of signing Cesc Fabregas
Manchester United believe the financial burden of sanctioning the £51.3million purchase of Neymar and Lionel Messi's renegotiated £17million-a-year contract could force Barcelona to strike a deal for the sale of Cesc Fabregas. Despite claims by Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova that Fabregas “wants to stay here” in the wake of United’s £26 million bid for the former Arsenal captain, the Premier League champions remain confident in their prospects of signing the player before the transfer deadline next month. Having been identified by manager David Moyes as the priority target in attempts to reinforce the club’s midfield, United are prepared for a protracted battle in order to lure Fabregas back to England. But with United already hopeful that the 26-year-old is keen to move to Old Trafford, the club’s confidence has been further fuelled by a belief that Barcelona are in a process of raising funds and reducing their wage bill. The Spanish champions, who banked £17 million from the ­departure of Thiago Alcântara to Bayern Munich, have also waved through the cut-price £1.8  million sale of forward David Villa to Atlético Madrid [and] are also prepared to listen to offers for Chilean winger Alexis Sánchez, a £32 million buy from Udinese in 2011, and Dutch midfielder Ibrahim Afellay. While Barcelona would prefer to keep Fabregas at the Nou Camp, United's offer has yet to be rejected by the club.

The Daily Star also claims that Fabregas is United's number one target - who they say could cost up to £35million - but they add that Moyes has his eye on two midfielders, with Everton's Marouane Fellaini and Newcastle’s Yohan Cabaye also reported to be on his watchlist.

The Times says that United are set to give up on signing Leighton Baines from Everton. 

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