While United have yet to hear back from Barcelona regarding their £26m bid, the club believe that Fábregas wants to leave the Camp Nou owing to a number of factors that have made the midfielder discontented since joining from Arsenal in the summer of 2011.
The arrival of the Brazil's Neymar in a £50m transfer from Santos in the close season has pushed Fábregas further down the pecking order of attacking players headed by Lionel Messi, the world footballer of the year, and which also includes Xavi, Andrés Iniesta, Pedro and Sergi Roberto. Fábregas is also believed to be unhappy at not being played in his preferred position regularly by Tito Vilanova, the coach, and there is a sense at United that as Fábregas was signed by Pep Guardiola and so was not the choice of Vilanova, the 26-year-old will continue to struggle to play in Barcelona's biggest games.
Asked about United's bid for Fábregas, Vilanova said: "It's good for your players to receive offers. I spoke to him and he told me he wanted to stay here and that he didn't want to go to another club, even though here he's competing with Xavi, and Sergi Roberto. He wants to succeed here. I'm happy about that."
Despite Vilanova's comments, Fábregas's position is that were Barcelona to signal they are willing to sell him then, according to the player's camp, he would recognise a need to give serious consideration to his long-term future.
United are prepared to be patient over their pursuit of a player coveted by David Moyes, the manager, and may increase their bid.
While it is thought that an offer of £35m would seriously test the Catalan club's resolve, the source said: "Barcelona are willing to sell because they need the money."
The club have financed a massive spend over the past two seasons. In the summer of 2011 there was a £50m-plus combined outlay on Fábregas and Alexis Sánchez, the Chilean who has also struggled to feature regularly under Vilanova, while Neymar's £50m move was preceded by Messi signing a £17m a-year, five-season contract in February, at a total cost of £85m.
David Villa has been removed from the books following his move to Atlético Madrid earlier this month, with Barcelona also hoping to off-load Ibrahim Afellay, the Dutch winger, who is reportedly a target for Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur.
David de Gea, the Manchester United goalkeeper and Fábregas's Spanish countryman, would welcome his arrival at Old Trafford. "It would be great if Cesc came here," he said. "It would be great to have more Spanish players at Manchester United. He is a great player, very skilful, knows how to win things and you always want those type of players in your team."
While Barcelona have yet to make any statement regarding their stance on United's offer, Arsenal retain a first buyback option on Fábregas but this is nullified if he does not want to return to the Emirates Stadium, which appears likely. The midfielder is motivated by winning trophies and playing at the highest level. Arsenal's eight seasons without silverware will not fill him with confidence .
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