Arsène Wenger is close to raising £5m through the sales of Emmanuel Eboué to Galatasaray and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas to Ipswich Town as he enters what may be the defining week in the Cesc Fábregas saga. The Arsenal manager has identified the areas of his squad that need refreshing and Eboué, having been deemed surplus to requirements, is set to depart to Galatasaray for £4m.
The Ivorian is a popular member of the dressing room but Wenger appeared to lose patience with him towards the end of last season after he conceded a last-gasp penalty at home to Liverpool, which led to the concession of two vital points.
Eboué did not travel on the tour of east Asia, with Wenger citing a calf injury as the reason. But he was also left at home when they went to Germany last Friday to enable him to finalise his transfer. Wenger will move Emmanuel-Thomas, the 20-year-old reserve-team attacking talent, to Ipswich for £1m and he also hopes to sell Nicklas Bendtner and Manuel Almunia before the end of next month. Neither player travelled to Asia or Germany, with Bendtner having held talks with Borussia Dortmund. Almunia is of interest to Atlético Madrid, Malaga and Fenerbahce.
Wenger has sold Gaël Clichy to Manchester City for £7m and loaned Denilson to São Paulo for the season. He has signed Gervinho from Lille for £10.6m and Carl Jenkinson from Charlton Athletic for £1m.
The subject of Fábregas's future has once again cast long shadows over the club's plans, with Wenger fighting to convince him that he would be better served remaining at Arsenal and rejecting Barcelona's overtures. The captainFábregas wants the move back to his hometown club and, knowing this, Barcelona have refused to get close enough to Arsenal's £40m asking price, reasoning that having the will of the player ought to permit them a cheaper deal. Arsenal, though, feel frustrated and insulted by this stance and they refuse to sell one of their prized assets for what they believe is below his market value.
They have made it clear to Barcelona that the situation must to be resolved quickly and they are approaching the point where, if the Catalans fail to make an acceptable offer, they will announce that Fábregas is staying.
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