Barca continue pursuit of Arsenal star

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Barcelona president Joan Laporta is still hopeful of persuading Arsenal to part with Cesc Fabregas despite having a £31 million offer for the Spain international rejected this week.

The 23-year-old is under contract to Arsenal until the summer of 2015 but last month expressed his desire to head back to the Nou Camp at a promotional event in the Catalan capital.

Barca are keen to make that wish become reality, and on Tuesday submitted a written offer to Arsenal that Laporta has said was worth 35million euros.

"It's a price that we consider to be his market value. Arsenal have rejected it. Now the sporting director (Txiki Begiristain) must decide what should be the next step," Laporta was quoted as saying by Spanish daily AS.

"We are in negotiations and we'll see how they turn out. At times, these operations are resolved at one speed, and others at another.

"We have to do everything we can to convince them (Arsenal) that the best thing for all is to reach an agreement."

The outgoing Barca president remains optimistic the Primera Division champions will be able to secure the services of the Arsenal skipper, but admits it may not be easy persuading the Gunners to let their prize asset leave.

"The club have full confidence that Arsenal will end up understanding the situation," Laporta was quoted as saying on his club's website.

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Premier League
Francesc Fabregas

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