Barcelona got Wednesday’s rumor mill off to a hit start with a reported £29 million bid for Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas (above), an offer that was quickly dimissed by the North London club with deliberate rhetorical flourish, as forwarded by the Fiver’s Barry Glendenning.

According to Barca director Joan Oliver, “a formal, written, concrete offer”, was made to Arsenal, conjuring up images of a Catalan stone-cutter painstakingly chiselling Fabregas’s face, the number 29 and a big question-mark into a giant slab.

“Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas is under contract with the club until the summer of 2015,” declared a statement from the Emirates which read like the written equivalent of a mighty swing of a sledgehammer smashing Barcelona’s bid into smithereens. “Highly valued … part of our future … official approach … informal exchanges … no interest in transferring Cesc.”

Warming to its theme, the statement continued blethering indignantly, drawing itself up to its full height as it went a worrying shade of pompous puce. “To be clear, we will not make any kind of counterproposal or enter into any discussion,” it harrumphed. “Barcelona have publicly stated that they will respect our position and we expect that they will keep their word.”

And so there you have it – another day, another Arsenal player hogging the headlines. The only difference being that this one isn’t unwanted, unhappy and weeping on a golf course