Arsenal vow to keep Fabregas as Barca prepare bid

LONDON, May 19, 2010 (AFP) - Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood has told Gunners captain Cesc Fabregas to forget about joining Barcelona during the close-season.

Reports in England on Wednesday claim Fabregas has told Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger that he wants to leave the Premier League club and return to Spanish champions Barca.

(AFP file) Fabregas (in red) and Chelsea's Michael Ballack

Fabregas, who began his career in Barca's youth academy before joining Arsenal aged 16, is believed to have met with Wenger at Arsenal's training ground on Tuesday to inform him of his desire to move to the Nou Camp.

It is thought the Spain midfielder has grown tired of Arsenal's failure to win a single major trophy over the last five seasons and would relish the opportunity to link up with the likes of Lionel Messi, Xavi and Andres Iniesta at Barcelona.

Josep Guardiola's team are ready to make an offer of around 30 million pounds for Fabregas, with The Sun reporting that a friend of Fabregas said: "Cesc has demanded of Arsenal that they accept the sale if Barcelona present a formal offer."

Fabregas, 23, recently admitted it was his dream to play for the club he supported as a boy and he has made it clear he wanted his future resolved before next month's World Cup.

But Arsenal will be loath to lose their prize asset after another season of underachievement and Hill-Wood insists the Catalan club would be wasting their time if they do make a bid for Fabregas.

He told the Daily Star: "We are not remotely interested in selling him."

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