Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas is set for another summer of transfer speculation following what the Spain midfielder claims was his "best" season for the Gunners.
The 22-year-old missed the end of the campaign after suffering a cracked bone in his leg during the Champions League quarter-final against Barcelona, which ruled him out of the return clash at the Nou Camp.
Fabregas, who played alongside Lionel Messi in the Barcelona youth ranks before moving to Arsenal in 2003, continues to find himself linked with a switch back to his former club, who are set to elect a new president on June 14.
Current president Joan Laporta would like nothing more than to sign-off having secured a deal for their former starlet to return, with his would-be successor Sandro Rosell also eager to be the man who lured Fabregas back home.
Indeed, the player himself delivered something of a mixed message yesterday.
Speaking at the 15th anniversary of the opening of PortAventura, a tourist complex just outside Barcelona, the Spain international was asked: "If you leave Arsenal, will it be for Barcelona?" He replied with a smile and a "yes", which obviously pleased the partisan crowd.
Fabregas continued: "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."
However, the Arsenal captain - who has a long-term contract with the Gunners - also stressed: "I don't know when it will happen. I am happy at Arsenal and I am not in a rush to leave."
But added: "Before I leave for the World Cup I want my future sorted out because it benefits nobody if I go into the tournament with something else on my mind."
Fabregas' parting message to the Arsenal supporters in his programme notes for the final Barclays Premier League match of the season against Fulham was of a positive outlook towards meeting the challenges for Arsene Wenger's young side next season.
"I think I have had many good years since I joined Arsenal, but in terms of personal performance, this has been the best," he said.
"Frustratingly, I think I could have done even better had injuries not struck - I picked up a hamstring injury when things were going well during the winter, and of course had to miss a number of important games recently."
The Arsenal captain added: "All we can say is we are sorry not to have won anything this season.
"We tried our best, but in the end, could not do it.
"We have to make sure that those of us at the World Cup have good tournaments and come back happy, and that everyone else rests well - then we can all be on a good path to putting things right next season."Reuse content