Barcelona have confirmed they have submitted a written offer to Arsenal for midfielder Cesc Fabregas and are now in "formal" discussions.
The 23-year-old has long been linked with a return to Barca, the club where he plied his trade as a youngster before moving to the Gunners seven years ago.
And Barca director general Joan Oliver told club website www.fcbarcelona.cat on Wednesday: "Everyone knows that Cesc wants to play for this club and everyone knows that we also want this. But there is a third major player, which is Arsenal. Any deal must go through them and June 1 was the beginning of the period of official negotiations."
He added: "Until earlier there were informal conversations, but since yesterday (Tuesday) these are formal - and the usual mechanism is to present a formal and concrete offer.
"So yesterday afternoon, we submitted a written bid to Arsenal."
Fabregas is under contract with the north London outfit until June 2014 but last month expressed his desire to head back to the Nou Camp at a promotional event in the Catalan capital.
That wish could have moved a step closer to reality over the past two days.