Arsenal skipper Cesc Fabregas
Barcelona step up persuit of Arsenal's Fabregas REUTERS/Miguel Vidal

The Mirror has claimed that Arsenal are ready to sell Cesc Fabregas to European champions Barcelona. The newspaper claims that Arsenal have given up trying to keep Fabregas and are willing to sell their captain this summer, according to reports. Cesc Fabregas was expected to return to Barcelona last season but Arsenal dug their heels in and the transfer never materialised but it is widely expected that Fabregas will be sign for Barcelona in the next week. BBC Sport understands senior executives at the Emirates boardroom have said they are prepared to let him - if the price is right. BBC Sport quote a senior Arsenal official as saying: "The offer was made formally in writing to our chief executive (Ivan Gazidis), and we said no straight away." When asked if the club expected an improved offer this week, the source added: "Possibly yes, and if it's enough then I expect we'll have to sell."

The only sticking point is expected to be the price with Barcelona claiming they will not break the bank to get their man. They have had a £27m bid rejected and their new bid of £31m is expected to be rejected by Arsenal. The club expect a fee closer to £40 m for their player but Barcelona are concerned over Fabregas' recent injury problems as well as his indifferent form over the past two years.

In rumours concerning transfers to Arsenal, the Sun claims that Arsenal must pay £23m for Valencia star Juan Mata. Reports yesterday suggested that Arsenal would be prepared to offer £18m for the player but Valencia have said that offer would be rejected straight away. The newspaper reports that Arsenal may increase their offer in a bid to land the Spanish international but will want Valencia to meet them somewhere around the £20m mark. Mata, who signed a new four year deal in January, will not be sold unless any club meets Valencia's valuation of the player a club spokesperson said.

Sources close to the Arsenal boardroom claim that Arsenal are claiming victory in the race to sign Gary Cahill from Bolton according to the Bolton News. Representatives of the England defender are said to have met with Arsenal over the weekend and the London club are willing to meet the £27m valuation of the club. Arsenal will try to negotiate a make weight in the deal with Bolton boss Owen Coyle keen on both Ignasi Miguel and Niklas Bendtner who have both expressed interest in moving to the north west. Arsenal are confident of fending off both Manchester City and Tottenham as Gary Cahill has expressed a desire to play in the Champions League as well as having reservations over whether he would be a first team regular at Manchester City. Bolton want a resolution to the transfer talks as soon as possible with Arsenal ready to make their move.