Fabregas not under orders

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Football News

Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas has not been specifically instructed to attend Thursday's Members' Day and the Gunners will not be taking team photographs both with and without the wantaway midfielder.

The 24-year-old has been linked him with a move back to former club Barcelona throughout the summer and reports emanated on Wednesday that the club have been forced to instruct him to attend Thursday's annual Members' Day.

However, Press Association Sport understands that is not the case as the Gunners expect all of their squad - including Fabregas - to be in attendance. It is also understood that reports suggesting the club are considering taking club photos with and without Fabregas are unfounded.

It was suggested that one photo would see the Spaniard in the centre of the front row, while another would have Holland international Robin van Persie in the captain's role.

Fabregas resumed training this week following a hamstring complaint and is expected to make his first pre-season appearance in this weekend's friendly with Benfica.

While Fabregas may play the Portuguese side, the saga over his future continues to roll on - Barca sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta would not be drawn on the situation on Wednesday - but manager Arsene Wenger warned last week it would not be allowed to continue indefinitely.

"He is coming back from an injury and is not settled with us," he said. "You know all the speculation which is around his position, that has to be sorted out soon. I'm just worried that the player has to be completely focused and committed to our club.

"At the moment he's coming back from an injury and we have to sort out that situation. He is the captain of our club and we have to make sure he is really focused on being with us."

Asked the current situation, Zubizarreta said: "We won't discuss the negotiations about Fabregas. We will have time for that.

"We must be respectful of the club Cesc belongs to. You just have to let things happen without being optimistic or pessimistic."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Robin Van Persie
Premier League

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