Barcelona president Joan Laporte is understood to be stepping up his efforts to sign Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas, with the Catalan club chief even prepared to sell Spanish International Xavi, despite coach Pep Guardiola insisting last week that Xavi (below) remains at the Nou Camp as long as he remains in charge, according to Spanish radio station Onda.
Recent reports have claimed that EURO 2008 winner Xavi is unhappy at the La Liga side, with talks on a new deal at Barca stalling as he seeks parity with the top earners at the Nou Camp. Which has led to speculation that he could leave Barcelona next summer, with Serie A side Juventus interested in Xavi, who was voted player of the tournament at EURO 2008.
Should Xavi not extend his current contract at Barcelona then Laporte could be forced into selling the Blaugrana midfield general, with the midfielder’s deal running out in 2010 and despite having a buyout clause of £100million, it is understood that the Barcelona vice-captain would be allowed to leave for considerably less.
However, these latest reports that Laporte is willing to lure Fabregas from the Emirates Stadium back to the club he left as a 16-year-old at all costs, including selling Xavi, will anger Guardiola, who sees Xavi as an integral part of the Catalan side. With the former Barca legend declaring last week that Xavi will remain at Barcelona, while he is in charge.
“With me as coach Xavi remains here, that is non-negotiable,” Guardiola said ahead of the La Liga match against Malaga.
21-year-old Fabregas has constantly been linked over the past couple of seasons with Barca’s great rivals Real Madrid, but it is hard to imagine Fabregas ever playing for Los Merengues given his attachment to the Blaugrana, and did reveal recently that “It would be a dream” to return to his boyhood club.
“I would like to try to win more titles here, although next season we'll see,” Fabregas said.
“It would be a dream to return to Barcelona one day.”
With Arsenal struggling in the Premier League and not having won a trophy since the 2005 FA Cup, Fabregas could decide to return to Barcelona next summer if the Gunners have a fourth season in a row without any silverware, but whether Xavi is sold to accommodate the signing of Fabregas remains to be seen. However Laporte could go over Guardiola’s head, with the Barcelona president seeing the capture of Fabregas as the key to holding on to the presidency after narrowly getting re-elected earlier this year.