Gunners defiant over Fabregas bid

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Arsenal have told Barcelona they expect the Catalan giants to respect their refusal to sell Cesc Fabregas.

The Gunners rejected an offer for their skipper from the Spanish champions on Wednesday, who have made no secret of their desire to bring the midfielder to the Nou Camp this summer.

Arsenal insisted in a statement: "To be clear, we will not make any kind of counterproposal or enter into any discussion. Barcelona have publicly stated that they will respect our position and we expect that they will keep their word."

Barcelona revealed they had submitted a written offer for the Spain international and the clubs were in "formal" discussions over a possible deal, but Arsenal were quick to respond, stating they had "no intention" of losing Fabregas.

"Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas is under contract with the club until the summer of 2015. He is a highly-valued member of the team and part of our future plans," the Barclays Premier League club said.

"We have followed recent speculation linking Cesc with a move away from the club but as there has never been any official approach for him, only two informal exchanges, in which we made it abundantly clear that we have no interest in transferring Cesc, we have refrained from publicly passing comment.

"However, yesterday (Tuesday) evening we received an offer from Barcelona for Cesc and in response, we immediately and resolutely told them once again that we have no intention of selling our captain."

Barca's vice-president Rafael Yuste had earlier been confident they would get their man.

He told "I'm hopeful he can sign for the club as soon as possible. I'm optimistic and it is clear that he, his family, the players and the entire environment would give a very warm welcome. So we will not do anything to thwart his signing. We will not be in any kind of hurry, but we will not pause either. Now the ball is in Arsenal's court and, as we have an exceptional relationship with them, I am optimistic."

Fabregas, who joined Arsenal from Barca at the age of 16, had fuelled speculation over a possible return to the club he supported as a boy at a promotional event in the Catalan capital last month.

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