Tito Vilanova's departure as Barcelona coach to resume his battle with throat cancer may have implications for Manchester United's pursuit of Cesc Fábregas. United were reported to have made an improved £30m offer for the Spain midfielder on Saturday but any deal now risks being delayed or even scrapped due to the search for a new coach.
Barcelona are engaged in appointing Vilanova's successor, with the Spanish champions hoping of doing so over the coming week – and that now takes precedence over any transfer business.
Whoever succeeds Vilanova may have a different view on Fábregas's value to the club. Vilanova paid Santos £48.6m for Neymar in May to play in the attacking forward position Fábregas favours, so his successor may decide that the 26‑year‑old could be deployed elsewhere.
United lodged a £26m bid early in the week but on Friday the Barcelona vice-president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, told the newspaper Sport that Barça will not entertain any offers for Fábregas. "He is completely non‑transferable."
However, United remain hopeful that Fábregas will sign. David Moyes is waiting to hear from Ed Woodward, the executive vice-president, who has flown home from United's pre-season tour with the transfer of the former Arsenal captain high on his agenda. "I've not had any more news. I have no more updates on anything really, so there is nothing positive or negative," Moyes said.
If Fábregas is signed – an offer of at least £30m appears the asking price – he would be reunited with Robin van Persie, his former Arsenal team-mate. The Dutchman, who made a scoring return to United colours in the 5-1 win against the A-League All Stars in Sydney, would welcome the midfielder at the club. "Yeah of course he's a great player," the striker said, though he has not spoken to him about the move.