Cesc appeal still key to Barca

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Barcelona vice-president Rafael Yuste has confirmed the Spanish champions are closing in on the signing of David Villa and remain hopeful of negotiating a deal for Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas.

Barca retained the Primera Division crown at the weekend but have already earmarked potential new signings for next season as they attempt to counteract what could be another summer of heavy spending from arch-rivals Real Madrid.

Valencia striker Villa and Fabregas top their wanted list but Yuste admits the two deals are at different stages, telling Catalonian radio station Ona FM: "Negotiations are progressing well especially in the case of Villa."

He continued: "The situation with Cesc is different because even if you have the will of the player it is very important to talk to his club and, if you can, find an agreement.

"But what makes it easier is that both players want to come to Barca."

Fabregas, who played alongside Lionel Messi in the Barcelona youth ranks before moving to Arsenal in 2003, sent mixed messages over his future last week when he attended a promotional event in Barcelona.

He said: "You see your [Spanish] team-mates succeeding here [in Barcelona] and it is exciting because you have worked alongside them for so long.

"I think I would like to go to Barcelona, whether or not they want me is another thing."

However, the Spain international - who has a long-term contract with the Gunners - also stressed: "I don't know when it will happen. I am happy at Arsenal and I am not in a rush to leave."

But added: "Before I leave for the World Cup I want my future sorted out because it benefits nobody if I go into the tournament with something else on my mind."

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