Arsene Wenger claims it is his information that Cesc Fabregas will remain with Barcelona for at least another season, amid reports Manchester United are closing in on a deal for the ex-Arsenal captain.
The future of Fabregas has been under constant speculation over the summer months, while Manchester United tested Barcelona's resolve to keep the player with a bid for his services this week.
Manchester United offered €30 million for Fabregas, which was rejected by Barcelona, although an improved offer from the Premier League champions for the 26-year-old midfielder would appear to be imminent.
The club's vice-chairman Ed Woodward left the pre-season tour of Australia on Wednesday to attend to important transfer business, with suggestions that he hopes to conclude a deal for Fabregas.
Tito Vilanova, however, maintains that Fabregas wants to stay with Barcelona and Wenger finds it unlikely his former charge would quit the Camp Nou after just two years, even if Manchester United did come calling.
"Fabregas has decided to stay one more year at Barcelona," Wenger said, as reported by The Guardian. "Unless he has changed his mind, I don't know - but that's what I've been told."
Should Barcelona decide to sell Fabregas, however, Arsenal would be given the first option on the Spaniard having negotiated the clause when selling the player during the summer transfer window of 2011.
And Wenger admits he would be interested in signing Fabregas were the opportunity to arise, although that possibility is not something occupying his mind at present.
He added: "We have the clause in the contract so would be on alert but at the moment that's not something we're after."
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