Fabregas is 'the future of Arsenal' says Wenger

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The Independent Online

Arsène Wenger wants Cesc Fabregas to become an integral part of the Arsenal side for years to come, despite Real Madrid's apparent determination to lure him back to his native Spain.

Fabregas, 19, grew in stature last season as a string of impressive performances in midfield alongside Gilberto Silva helped carry the Gunners into the Champions' League final. The Spain international joined Arsenal from Barcelona in September 2003, making his first-team debut when he was just 16.

Real Madrid's new president, Ramon Calderon, has spent the last few days declaring his interest in taking the midfielder to the Bernabeu. Wenger, however, has moved to quash the speculation and sees Fabregas an an integral part of his side.

"At 19 years old, Cesc represents the future of Arsenal and we are looking forward to him being a major part of our plans for many years to come," Wenger said. "I would like to make it clear that Cesc Fabregas is not for sale and we will not be listening to any offers for him.

"Since making his first-team debut nearly three years ago, Cesc has progressed remarkably well, with his performances rightfully earning him a place in the Spain World Cup squad."

With Thierry Henry having pledged his long-term future to Arsenal, Wenger will again centre his attacking plans around the brilliant Frenchman next season. That has not stopped the Gunners finding themselves linked with a move for the Argentina striker Javier Saviola.

The 24-year-old has struggled at Barcelona and was loaned to Seville last season, helping them lift the Uefa Cup.

Saviola's agent, Alfredo Cabrera Brizuela, said: "He will make his decision based on football and that points to the Gunners. He will have no problem playing in England because he is a world-class player and will be successful in any country. This week is very important because he wants to have a holiday knowing he has his future sorted out."

Wenger is also likely to consider bolstering his defence following Sol Campbell's departure. West Brom's Curtis Davies is said to be on his shopping list - although the Baggies want around £8m for the 21-year-old who is also interesting Tottenham and Wigan.

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