Gunners chuck out Barca's Cesc bid
arcelona have been left to ponder their next move after Arsenal rejected their offer for Cesc Fabregas on Wednesday afternoon. Speculation about the Gunners captain's future has been growing for some time and it came to a head today as the Catalan giants revealed they had submitted a written offer for the Spain midfielder and the clubs were in "formal" discussions over a possible deal. But the Barclays Premier League side were quick to respond, issuing a statement that read: "Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas is under contract with the club until the summer of 2015. He is a highly-valued member of the team and part of our future plans. "We have followed recent speculation linking Cesc with a move away from the club but as there has never been any official approach for him, only two informal exchanges, in which we made it abundantly clear that we have no interest in transferring Cesc, we have refrained from publicly passing comment. "However, yesterday evening we received an offer from Barcelona for Cesc and in response, we immediately and resolutely told them once again that we have no intention of selling our captain. "To be clear, we will not make any kind of counterproposal or enter into any discussion. Barcelona have publicly stated that they will respect our position and we expect that they will keep their word." Fabregas, who joined Arsenal from Barca at the age of 16, had fuelled speculation over a possible return to the club he supported as a boy at a promotional event in the Catalan capital last month. He had said at the time: "You see your [Spanish] team-mates succeeding here [in Barcelona] and it is exciting because you have worked alongside them for so long. "I think I would like to go to Barcelona. Whether or not they want me is another thing." Barca were not slow to express their reciprocal interest, although they vowed to do everything by the book and to show Arsenal "respect". The player's father, Francesc, who is also Cesc's agent, also voiced his opinion talks between the clubs could be protracted but Arsenal would give the green light for their captain to leave. "The negotiations between Arsenal and Barcelona are going to be very long," he told Radio Marca last month. "Both parties are going to have to sit down several times because the matter is complicated." Fabregas' last appearance of the 2009/10 season came against his former club in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final clash between the two sides, as a fractured leg ended his campaign. However, he has recovered and has been included in Vicente del Bosque's 23-man squad for the World Cup in South Africa. And, when making their bid public, Barcelona had appeared hopeful of bringing him back to his homeland. Barca's vice-president Rafael Yuste had told www.fcbarcelona.cat: "I'm hopeful he can sign for the club as soon as possible. "I'm optimistic and it is clear that he, his family, the players and the entire environment would give a very warm welcome. "So we will not do anything to thwart his signing. "We will not be in any kind of hurry, but we will not pause either. "Now the ball is in Arsenal's court and, as we have an exceptional relationship with them, I am optimistic."
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