Fabregas admits desire to play for Barça and wants future 'sorted'

Spaniard hints at Arsenal exit as he says Catalans would be the 'only team' that could tempt him away

If Cesc fabregas is trying to break it to Arsenal fans gently that he wants to leave them this summer, then yesterday's declaration that his next club will definitely be Barcelona can be seen as another big step on the road back to Spain.

For the first time since joining Arsenal in 2003 he publicly admitted that when he leaves it will be to return to the Nou Camp and he then gave a somewhat mixed message that he is happy at the Emirates but wants his future sorted out before the World Cup.

Fabregas was speaking at the 15th anniversary of the opening of PortAventura, a tourist complex just outside of Barcelona. He was asked: "If you leave Arsenal, will it be for Barcelona?" A smile broke out across his face as he replied: "Yes." Asked to reaffirm that it would "only" be to join Barça, to warm applause he added: "Yes, definitely yes."

With Barcelona due to elect a new president on 14 June the attempts to sign Fabregas are coming from two different directions. Outgoing president Joan Laporta wants to sign-off by repatriating the prodigal son and the clear favourite to be the new president, Sandro Rosell would like to start his term of office with the same signing.

In light of these two suitors, off the back of another trophyless year at Arsenal, and with the sense that he can mark the dawning of a new era at Barcelona, Fabregas appears more tempted than ever. He added: "You see your 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. I don't know when it will happen. I am happy at Arsenal and I am not in a rush to leave. 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."

That last message seemed to be directed at his potential buyers – if an offer is to be made then let it be made now and accepted or rejected accordingly. He added: "None of the [presidential] candidates have put themselves in contact with me so I do not feel like a pawn in the election." The Independent understands that there has already been indirect contact between Fabregas's people and representatives of both the current president and his replacement-in-waiting.

Barcelona's season ends on Sunday and next week Laporta is keen to tie up both David Villa and Fabregas before his mandate ends. Rosell knows it makes logistical sense for Fabregas to arrive while Laporta is still the president because the club elections will not finish until the World Cup has began. He has said he will accept any signings made providing they have the approval of coach Pep Guardiola.

The Barcelona coach wants both Villa and Fabregas. The idea that Fabregas would struggle to find a place in the Barcelona side as he has in the past with the national team has lost credibility this term. Andres Iniesta and Xavi have rarely both been available in the second half of his season and even when both play a place would be found for the Arsenal captain by moving Iniesta forward or simply playing all three in midfield.

Barcelona still have to persuade Arsenal to let their captain go. Barça midfielder Yaya Touré's agent Dimitri Seljuk last week said he thought his player was 90 per cent certain of not being at the club next season and he will be offered as part of the deal which could reach the £40m mark.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific