Arsenal have announced they have reached an agreement in principle with Barcelona over the sale of Cesc Fabregas.

The midfielder, who joined the Gunners from Barca as a 16-year-old in 2003, will now agree personal terms and undergo a medical on Monday before sealing his return to the Nou Camp.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger told the club's official website: "We have been clear that we didn't want Cesc to leave and that remains the case. However, we understand Cesc's desire to move to his home town club and have now accepted an offer from Barcelona. We thank Cesc for his contribution at Arsenal and wish him future success."

Fabregas has been agitating for a move to Barcelona for the past two summers and the agreement brings to an end the most high-profile transfer saga of the close season.

A deal for the 24-year-old looked imminent when he was omitted from the Arsenal squad for Saturday evening's match at Newcastle.

Fabregas, who has won 58 caps for Spain, winning Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup, made 303 appearances for the Gunners, scoring 57 goals.

He was named the club's captain in November 2008.




 

Fabregas is set to be followed out of the club by fellow midfielder Samir Nasri, who is expected to join Manchester City.

His departure will increase the pressure from fans on Wenger to use some of the transfer fee to bring in a big-name signing before the end of the transfer window.

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