Arsene Wenger has warned Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas that moving to Spain would be a step down.
The Arsenal manager denies any secret meeting has taken place with Barcelona regarding the future of Fabregas and insists the Premier League is getting stronger while the Spanish league is in "complete disarray". The comments come after Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood claimed earlier this week that informal talks between the clubs had taken place.
Wenger said: "We have not been in touch with Barcelona over the future (of Fabregas). We have an official dinner before every European Cup game and of course there is a lot of talk but there is no official meeting about Cesc Fabregas. There is no secret meeting because we do not want to sell our players and anyway I cannot see anybody who has a competitive edge going to Spain."
He added: "They have two good teams (Barcelona and Real Madrid), I confess that. The number three (Valencia) is 24 points behind. This weekend the players (planned to) go on strike because they are not paid.
"It is a league that is in complete disarray. I don't know why you want absolutely the best players who play in England to go to Spain. If you are really competitive, you stay in England.
"That is where the competition is and that is where the best players want to be. I have so many calls from Spanish players who want to join us and want to come here.
"We want to keep this team together and improve from season to season. I believe we have made a big step forward considering last season and we want to do that again next season.''
Fabregas' contract at the Emirates runs until 2014 and Wenger is clearly angered by the constant speculation.
He said: "Nobody puts a gun to your head when you sign a contract. We have more players who want to join us than players who want to leave us.
"It should be absolutely logical to you that a player who is paid as he is paid respects his contract. I respect my contract because I have loyalty to the players so why should the players not respect theirs?"
Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: https://www.givemesport.com/writeforgms