Cesc Fabregas has revealed the conflicting thoughts dominating his mind as the transfer saga of the summer – his will it/won't it happen move to Barcelona – rumbles on.
"I am from Barcelona. I am a club member," the 23-year-old told the Spanish magazine DIR Emotions. "[Carles] Puyol gives me confidence and has taken care of me like an older brother. [Sergio] Busquets is authentic. Xavi is a maestro. [Lionel] Messi is calm, shy and very kind."
Yet of Arsenal the midfielder said: "I am captain. I am a Gunner and that is where I have made myself as a player. [Arsène Wenger] is a second father to me. He has been very supportive to me and has treated me like a son. I am part of his family.
"My last conversation with him in London was one of the most difficult moments I've lived. I am very touched. I want to keep fighting for every title, especially the Champions League, because I am a winner."
Mesut Ozil apparently features on the shopping lists of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Arsenal, but Werder Bremen general manager Klaus Allofs said: "We do not have any offers for Ozil." However, a lack of bids may be more a reaction to the incapability of Allofs to manage the transfer window than a comment on the 21-year-old's prodigious ability.
Most managers cultivate offers by presenting the relations between staff and players as positive, but Werder Bremen decided the best course of action would be to concede Ozil doesn't want to stay and simply ask for bids.
As a result of Allofs's admission, and the Bundesliga club's subsequent loss of bargaining power, reports are circulating that Real, who seem the most likely to land the midfielder, will wait until January to try to court him, at which point his contract with Bremen will have only six months to run.
Striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has squashed rumours that he wants to leave this summer by reasserting his commitment to the La Liga club. The 28-year-old, who has been linked with Chelsea and Manchester City, said: "I'm a Barça player and I shall remain a Barça player." He added: "I have no doubt that I want to stay here."
Goalkeeper Tim Krul has signed a new long-term contract that keeps him with the Magpies until 2014, despite rumours of a move to Chelsea. "Hopefully I can fulfil my dream by becoming the club's number one goalkeeper," the 22-year-old Dutchman said. "I have been at the club five years and it feels like home."