Arsenal have issued an ultimatum to Barcelona with the regards to the Cesc Fabregas saga. Reports suggest that Arsenal want highly-rated Barca youngster Thiago Alcantara to be included in any move involving the sale of Fabregas to the Spanish champions.
Alcantara is a highly-rated product of Barcelona's famed La Masia youth academy and such has been the demand for the youngster, especially from the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea, that Barcelona awarded him a four-year contract extension with a view to keeping him at Catalonia.
According to the Sunday Express, however, Gunners boss Arsene Wenger wants the 20-year-old to come in return if Fabregas is to move to Barcelona for a figure less than £40 million. If Barcelona do succumb to the demand, Alcantara could be 'the one that got away' in much the same manner as Fabregas' current faces.
Wenger is determined to bring in a flush of Spanish talent though. According to the Daily Mail, with the influx of cash from the possible sale of Fabregas, Arsenal will break their transfer records and submit bids around the region of £20 million each for Valencia's Juan Mata and Villarreal's Santi Cazorla.
Mata, 23, is rated at around £25 million by Valencia and caught the eye during his performance in Spain Under-21 side's European Championship triumph, while Cazorla, 26, is a part of the Spanish national team and can play along the wings or centrally. He is also a target for the newly-rich Malaga.
Elsewhere, the Samir Nasri situation rambles on and Manchester United's French defender Patrice Evra has admitted that he has been attempting to persuade his French international teammate to move to Old Trafford.
United had a £20 million bid for Nasri turned down by Arsenal last month, and though Manchester City are prepared to offer more both to the club and to the player, Evra told The Telegraph that he has been talking up everything Man United to his French teammate.
"Of course I would like to see Samir at United," Evra said. "I've talked a lot with him during the holiday and told him how great it is to play for Manchester United and how important it would be for him to become one of the biggest players in the world.
"He said that it's a privilege that a club like Man United want him, but that he has to think about his future and talk with his agent. I'm not Nasri, I'm not his agent or his dad, but I would definitely tell him to come to Man United. Definitely.
"I remember I made that little joke saying that he's a prince now, but if he wants to be the king then he has to join Man United. But that's the reality and I've told him that. I said: 'If you want to win trophies you have to come here.' In five years I've won 12 trophies, and I don't know if I'd have won more with another club.
"I just told him the truth. If he goes to City, it's his choice, but I know, as a player, if I have Manchester United and Manchester City, I would go straightaway for United. It's a lot of things. It can be for the money, many different things. But I would prefer to go for the glory. I don't know how negotiations are at the moment, but he has a lot of clubs (interested in him) and he has to think.
"But we will have a nice welcome (at United) and I can help as well because I'm French, but I don't know what he's going to do."
Meanwhile, over the weekend, The Mirror reported that Wenger would submit a second bid to land Everton's Phil Jagielka after seeing his £10 million bid rejected by the Merseysiders. Strengthening the central defensive area is a key priority for Arsenal and reports suggest the Gunners could go as high as £15 million for the 28-year-old England International.