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Man United target Fabregas will stay at Barcelona: says Pique

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Updated 05 Aug 2013 12:31:52

Man United target Fabregas will stay at Barcelona: says Pique

Cesc Fabregas will resist overtures from Manchester United to stay at his 'dream' club Barcelona, his teammate and close friend Gerard Pique said Monday.

The English Premier League champions have so far failed with two bids for Fabregas, who has emerged as their main summer transfer target as new boss David Moyes seeks to inject a creative force into his midfield.

But Pique, a close confidante of the midfield maestro since their time at Barcelona's acclaimed La Masia academy, said Fabregas was determined to stay in Catalonia and fight for a starting place at the club he left as a 16-year-old.

"He wants to stay in Barcelona because it's always been his dream (to play for Barca)," Pique said.

"I'm confident he will stay on. He's a good player, he will always have offers because of his talent, but he is feeling quite calm right now," the towering 26-year-old defender told reporters in Thailand at the start of Barca's whistlestop Asia tour.

His comments echo those of Barcelona sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta, who told Spanish media Monday that Manchester United have abandoned their interest in the playmaker.

Fabregas, who was met with garlands as he arrived in Bangkok with his teammates, has failed to nail down a starting position in Barca's star-studded midfield. His international teammates Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets are ahead of him in the pecking order, especially in big matches.

But Barca are reluctant to sell the pint-sized Fabregas, especially since the loss of Thiago Alcantara to Bayern Munich.

Barca enticed Fabregas back from Arsenal with a long-term view to him replacing the 33-year-old Xavi, who is expected to play fewer games in the coming season.

But Iniesta said competition for places at the La Liga champions was not something that deters the players.

"It's about the performance of the whole team, we have to look at the whole picture," he told reporters at a press conference hours after the Barca touring team arrived in Bangkok.

Barcelona return to Asia three years after their last tour of the football-mad continent -- home to a massive fan base and huge potential sums in sponsorship.

The tour is a final chance for new manager Gerardo Martino to assess his players in official friendly action before the start of the La Liga season on August 18.

The new boss has impressed Barca's superstars so far, according to Pique.

"There's been no major changes, the new coach is adjusting pretty well to the club and the ways of the club," he said.

"He likes to talk personally to the players."

After facing Thailand's national side on Wednesday Barca will travel to Kuala Lumpur to play a Malaysia XI on August 10.


AFP

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