Cesc commits to Arsenal

2010-08-06 15:19

London - Cesc Fabregas confirmed on Friday he will stay at Arsenal this season after conceding he won't get his wish to rejoin Barcelona.

Fabregas met Arsene Wenger before the World Cup to ask the Gunners boss to let him move to the Spanish champions, sparking a summer-long saga of claim and counter-claim between the two clubs.

But the 23-year-old Spain midfielder, who quit the Nou Camp to join Arsenal as a teenager, was unable to persuade Wenger to accept Barca's offers of around 30 million pounds and has now announced he will remain at the Premier League club.

"Firstly I would like to apologise to all the Arsenal fans for not speaking sooner about my future but I have not known what I was going to do until this moment," Fabregas said in a statement.

"I cannot deny that joining a club like Barcelona was not an attractive move for me.

"This was the club where I learned my football, it is my home town where my friends and family are and a club where I have always dreamed of playing.

"There are not many players in the world who would not want to play for Barcelona.

"I have had many conversations with Arsene Wenger both in person and over the phone over the last few months and although the content of those conversations will remain private, the conclusion is that Barcelona have had two formal offers rejected by Arsenal.

"I am a professional and I fully understand that it is Arsenal's prerogative not to sell me."

A host of Barca players had gone public with their belief that Fabregas was desperate to move to the club he supported as a boy, but Wenger's determination not to be bullied into selling his captain has paid off.

While Fabregas has ended speculation over his future in the short term, it would be no surprise if Barca return with another bid at the end of the season.

"I owe a lot to the club, manager and the fans and I will respect their decision and will now concentrate on the new season ahead with Arsenal," added Fabregas.

"I can assure all the fans that now the negotiations have ended I will be 100 per cent focused on playing for Arsenal.

"I am an Arsenal player and as soon as I step out on to the pitch, that is the only club I will be thinking about."

Wenger said he was delighted to keep his World Cup star at the Emirates.

"He is our captain, he is our leader," Wenger told the club's website.

"When I was at the World Cup I met so many people in South Africa and the first thing I heard was 'Don't let Fabregas go'.

"That means it is a huge lift for everybody who loves the club."

Wenger declined to reveal any discussions he had with Fabregas, adding: "The situation is as it is.

"I believe it is important in my job that I do not come out with private conversations I have with the players. That would be unfair.

"But Cesc has come out today to clear the air. It was very important for us that Cesc did that clearly and that we can move on from now."

Meanwhile, Barcelona lamented the latest twist in the saga.

"Barcelona regret the decision of Arsenal to declare the player not for sale and their decision not to take into consideration the offers proposed. None of those offers, in any way, exceeded 40 million euros," the Catalan club said in a statement.

Fabregas, who is under contract at Arsenal until 2014, returned to training on Thursday after a lengthy break following Spain's victorious World Cup campaign.


  • Paddy - 2010-08-06 15:29

    Not the best move for both player and club I'm afraid. We can look forward to another sub-standard Arsenal season.

  • Liverpool supporter - 2010-08-06 16:06

    I think Cesc was a bit worried about being booed this season and has to now say these things...he should not have signed that new contract 2 years ago...then he would of been a free agent come end of the season, meaning Arsenal would have sold him in this transfer window..Good luck Cesc, hope its a good season for you

  • goonerzain23 - 2010-08-06 22:34

    This was the wisest decision Cesc could have made. At Barca he would have been kicking his heels on the bench just as he did in the Spanish World Cup squad. After all he would be competing for a place in the starting line-up against same players (Xavi, Iniesta and Busquets). At Arsenal his is the first name on Arsene Wenger's team sheet. Remember that Pep Guardiola treated Thierry Henry in exactly the same way.

  • Ravee Govender - 2010-08-06 23:24

    The GUNNER'S have always been fighters and will not cry to lose 1 player since all of the guys are operators.

  • Nash the Gunner - 2010-08-10 10:23

    he is no longer seen as one of us, Arsene should strip him of the captaincy as his heart is some place else. I remember how Henry lost the '06 CL final against Barca as he also desired the move to Barca and did not give 100% to the Gunners.Cesc should not forget that it was Arsene who believed in him and gave him a rare chance that not many teenagers get, now that he is an established football player, he wants to turn his back on Wenger, so Cesc i do hope those fans boo you.

  • Kopano - 2010-08-25 13:55

    Please let Cesc do the talking on the soccer field. We all know what he is capable of doing. Some decisions are difficult to make and at times we end up making mistakes and it is only us who can correct those mistakes

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