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Barcelona could be willing to sell David Villa in order to fund the Fabregas move. The Catalans’ finances are such that they will need to sell some of their players to raise the required fee for Fabregas. And Villa’s potential £40m transfer has been earmarked for the move.

The World Cup winner, 29, joined Barca only 13 months ago in a £35m switch from Valencia and bagged 23 goals for Pep Guardiola’s all-conquering team last term.

Guardiola is reluctant to lose Villa, but would sanctions Spain’s all-time top goalscorer if the money could be used to prise Fabregas away from the Emirates.

‘Guardiola has a list of players he is prepared to move on to give him more spending power in the transfer market, but Villa is definitely not on that list,’ a source revealed.