I’m not sure that all this public positioning around the Fabregas transfer deal by Barcelona and Arsenal really helps to get a deal done. Wenger calls Barcelona disrespectful; Barcelona speak publicly of their desire to bring home a player who is under contract to someone else.

This kind of positioning stops each party seeing the other side’s point of view, which is normally an essential component in negotiating a successful outcome. If the roles were reversed and Arsenal were chasing the signature of an established Barcelona player who was English and yearned to return to England, then Wenger would have no hesitation about pursuing the player in public to try and improve his team. Equally, Barcelona would be just as outraged as Wenger is now about the “disrespectful” public pursuit of one their own key players.

If they could put themselves in the other side’s shoes, then it would be easier for the clubs to find a price which reflects Arsenal’s need for respect, Barcelona’s need to continue achieving ground-breaking success, and the player’s need to feel that he is back where he belongs.

As it is the public posturing prevents this kind of constructive negotiating, sours the climate, and means the deal takes longer to do. None of this is anybody’s interest – especially Arsenal, who are running out of time to negotiate for replacements before the season starts…