Hleb claims Fabregas is destined to rejoin Barcelona

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The Independent Online

Alexander Hleb has hinted that his former Arsenal team-mate Cesc Fabregas could join him at Barcelona.

Just before Hleb left Arsenal last week for £11.9m he had criticised Fabregas, calling him "selfish", but now he claims the Spanish midfielder is likely to go back to the club he left five years ago.

"Cesc Fabregas explained a lot of things to me about this club," Hleb told Barça TV. "His time in the academy with players like [Gerard] Pique, [Lionel] Messi and so on. He loves this club. Now he's at Arsenal, but who knows if in the future he'll come back to Barça? He is my best friend at Arsenal, together with [Mathieu] Flamini."

Hleb is looking forward to linking up with another former Arsenal player – Thierry Henry – and meeting the rest of his new team-mates. "He's my friend," he added. "We spent two years together. We understand each other and I'm very pleased to be back with him.

Hleb supposedly recently criticised the Arsenal manager, Arsène Wenger, for the way he was used in the Gunners team, but he has now expressed his gratitude to the Frenchman for helping him develop into a more complete player during his three years at the club.

But the Belarus midfielder could come back to haunt Wenger as, when reminded about the 2006 Champions League final in which Arsenal lost 2-1 to Barcelona, he revealed that he is longing for the same final – and the same result – this season.

"Of course I remember it," Hleb said. "It is a very important game in my life. We lost but I think it was a great game. I hope to be able to win the Champions League with Barça – and meet Arsenal in the final this season.

"I really don't mind where I play. Where the coach tells me to, there I'll play. I learnt a lot at Arsenal with Arsène Wenger. He taught me to play in different positions and now I don't have any problem playing anywhere.

"Barca's playing style is fantastic. Barça's game and Arsenal's are the best in the world. I come from Arsenal and I know this attacking game. I hope to be able to practise it here now."

William Gallas has become the latest player to be linked with a move from the Emirates Stadium to Barcelona, according to reports

The Arsenal captain is being targeted by both the Catalans and Paris St-Germain. Speculation suggests that Gallas may be available for around £5m, a figure that is likely to interest both sides.

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