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Page last updated at 10:51 GMT, Friday, 14 May 2010 11:51 UK

Cesc Fabregas keen to 'sort out' Arsenal future

Cesc Fabregas
Fabregas is hoping to shake off a leg fracture before the World Cup

Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas says he wants to "sort out" his future ahead of this summer's World Cup amid reports linking him with a return to Barcelona.

The 23-year-old Spain midfielder, who left the youth team at the Nou Camp for the Gunners in 2003, is contracted to the north Londoners until 2014.

But Fabregas told reporters in Catalonia: "Before I leave for the World Cup I want my future sorted.

"It benefits nobody if I go there with transfer talk on my mind."

Fabregas has developed into arguably Arsenal's most important player in recent years, taking over the club captaincy in 2008 and playing a key role in the club's famed flowing football.

However, the Gunners' failure to win a trophy for more than five years has led to rumours that he is growing disillusioned with life at the Emirates Stadium, with a return to Barcelona widely touted as his preferred choice should he leave London.

Joan Laporta, whose reign as the Catalan club's president comes to an end this summer, is a known admirer of the midfielder's, while two of Laporta's possible successors Sandro Rosell and Alfons Godall have mentioned signing Fabregas as part of their election campaign.

I think I would like to go to Barcelona, whether or not they want me is another thing

Cesc Fabgregas

And that speculation will only intensify after Fabregas, in answer to the question "if you leave Arsenal, will it be for Barcelona?", replied "yes".

"You see your Spanish team-mates succeeding here at Barcelona and it is exciting because you have worked alongside them for so long," he added.

"I think I would like to go to Barcelona, whether or not they want me is another thing."

Fabregas's departure would certainly prove a body blow to Gunners boss Arsene Wenger, who recently revealed he will seek to strengthen his squad with "two or three" new players for next season.

The midfielder has in the past, though, brushed off speculation linking him with a host of big-money moves to the likes of Real Madrid and Manchester City.

And Fabregas insisted that he would not force a move, stressing: "I am happy at Arsenal and I am not in a rush to leave."

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Wenger, speaking in April, warned Fabregas off a move back to his boyhood club, saying: "I can't see anybody with a competitive edge wanting to go to Spain.

"They have two good teams and the number three is 27 points behind.

"In every press conference I get asked from you, 'Will Fabregas stay or not?'. Frankly, I believe it's not serious. The players are under contract. "When the players are under contract why should we always answer the same questions?"

Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood, too, has insisted that Barcelona have assured the north Londoners they will not attempt to sign Fabregas this summer.

Spain's first game of the 2010 World Cup is against Switzerland on 16 June.



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see also
Wenger targets defensive signings
13 May 10 |  Arsenal
Fabregas 'on schedule' for Spain
09 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
Wenger eyes two or three recruits
29 Apr 10 |  Arsenal
Arsenal deny Fabregas summer sale
14 Apr 10 |  Arsenal
Wenger dismisses Fabregas rumours
02 Apr 10 |  Arsenal
Wenger says Messi is world's best
07 Apr 10 |  Europe
Barcelona 4-1 Arsenal (agg 6-3)
06 Apr 10 |  Europe
Fabregas out for rest of season
01 Apr 10 |  Arsenal
Arsenal 2-2 Barcelona
31 Mar 10 |  Europe
Fabregas meets his makers
29 Mar 10 |  Arsenal
Fabregas signs new Arsenal deal
19 Oct 06 |  Arsenal


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