Arsene Wenger has said that his former captain Cesc Fabregas will stay at Barcelona after he was informed that he will remain at the club for at least one more season.
Wenger’s words come as Manchester United continue to struggle in the transfer market, with reports of other targets Gareth Bale heading to Real Madrid and Cristiano Ronaldo signing a new deal with the Spanish club.
Arsenal have a clause in Fabregas’ contract that allows them to speak with the midfielder should they meet the £25m buy-back fee, and Wenger has kept is eye on the 26-year-old should he become available – a situation he said is not plausible at this time.
“I haven't heard that comment [that it is reportedly up to Fabregas if he leaves Barcelona],” said Wenger.
“I haven't read it so I'm always a bit cautious to answer what a manager is supposed to have said.
“What I know is that Fabregas will stay one more year at least in Barcelona, that's the information I have.
“If that changes, I don't know, but I have been told that.”
Barcelona sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta has also confirmed that Fabregas will not be departing the Nou Camp after new manager Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino mirrored his comments last week.
He claimed that United have now accepted defeat in the hunt for Fabregas, and if true it will be the second Barcelona midfielder that they have failed to sign this summer after Thiago Alcantara preferred a move to Bayern Munich over Old Trafford.
Speaking to Spanish newspaper Sport, Zubizarrata said: “Manchester United are interested in the player, but it's also true that they understand our position of not wanting to sell. They have renounced his signing.
“We aren't going to sell him.”
An official statement on the club’s website also confirmed this, with Zubizarreta speaking in Israel where the club are currently on a pre-season tour.
“He has a contract with us,” it read.
“We count on Cesc. I said that on the day of the presentation of Tito (Vilanova) and also with Tata (new coach Gerardo Martino): He's an extraordinary player who creates and finishes chances. We are delighted with him. He's the number four of Barca.”