Xavi wants Fabregas at Barça
The Gunners captain started his career at the Catalan giants before Arsene Wenger recruited him as 2003 as a 16-year-old, but he has consistently been linked with a return to La Liga since establishing himself in the Premier League.
As the player of the tournament at UEFA EURO 2008 and a key component of Barcelona's treble-winning team last season, Xavi is viewed as an influential figure at his club and his comments could be seen as increasing pressure on Fabregas to move. "I'd like to play with him,' the 29-year-old told Spanish newspaper El Mundo Deportivo.
"I've always said that in the national team I link up with Cesc very well, despite the fact that many say we can't play together. We demonstrated in the final of the European Championship that isn't true.
"I especially hope that Cesc comes. He is a football player with Barça DNA and he is showing at Arsenal that he is on another level. I would love him to sign so that we could play together at Barça. Clearly, a lot of his career is ahead of him and I think that in the future it will be at Barça."
Job for life
Wenger has dealt with speculation about Fabregas in previous seasons and will be hoping a transfer saga does not sour his 13th year in charge, making him Arsenal's longest-serving manager. Gunners director Ken Friar has suggested the Frenchman has a job for life at the club.
"We will all be very, very sad when the day comes when Arsene decides he's had enough," he said on the club's official website. "We will never have enough of him and he will be welcome here with his lovely wife and daughter forever.
"They are now part of the club's history. Arsene has engraved himself on the club forever and that I think is the greatest tribute to anybody. The fact that, no matter how many years go by, Arsene will always be remembered. That cannot be said about many people."
Wenger's appointment in 1996 was seen by some as a risk by some, but not Friar. "I suppose we are relatively risk-averse but we did not feel that we were taking such a big gamble on Arsene," he said.
"He'd done well at Monaco - he'd won the French title there, he was French manager of the year - so he wasn't a complete rookie coming off Hackney Marshes."