Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has turned down the chance to bring former captain Cesc Fabregas back to the Emirates in order to pursue signings at right-back, centre-forward, goalkeeper and possibly even a top addition in a holding midfield role, according to BBC Sport.
Fabregas has been deemed surplus to requirements by new Barcelona manager Luis Enrique and made available in a deal worth €33m, leading the vast majority of Gunners fans to clamour for Wenger to use Arsenal's buy-back clause and re-sign the Spanish international in a marquee deal.
Wenger has decided Fabregas is an extravagance he can't justify though and decided to concentrate on strengthening the areas of team lacking in numbers and quality, ultimately viewing Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla and Tomas Rosicky as options aplenty in an attacking midfield role.
After failing to persuade Bacary Sagna and Lukasz Fabianski to stay in North London for next season Wenger first wants to make sure there is adequate cover in the two areas now left blank, while the Frenchman is also desperate to make sure there is quality cover for Olivier Giroud in attack.
The news will serve as a massive disappointment to Arsenal fans who hoped the potent playmaker's Premier League return would be an emotional reunion with the team he served so capably for eight seasons, before returning to his boyhood club Barca.
At the other end of the spectrum Chelsea now have a clear path to persuade the 27-year-old his future belongs at Stamford Bridge, as a surprise replacement for Frank Lampard.
Barca have instructed their homegrown star to find a new team, but Wenger has refused to bow to fan pressure and enter the race to claim a marquee summer signature.
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