Fabregas puts football on back-burner

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Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas has switched off football as he focuses on returning fighting fit from a serious knee injury.

The Spain Euro 2008 winner is set to be out of action until April at the earliest, after suffering ligament damage during a tackle with Liverpool's Xabi Alonso and it is the first long-time lay-off for the 21-year-old.

"I am not really thinking about football, watching games, following the transfer market, nothing. I am just forgetting about everything to do with football," said Fabregas, speaking in his column in the official Arsenal matchday programme.

"Even my girlfriend is surprised, because it is unusual for me. But to be honest when it comes to football at the moment, I am off it until I can start to get fit again."

The Spaniard admits watching the Gunners from the stands is tough.

"It is the most difficult part of being injured, not being able to get out there and touch the ball and be there with your team-mates," he said. "It is a bit painful, but I know I must accept it."

"All players will go through times like this in their career, and now is my moment to experience it.

"I will just have to stay as positive as I can until I am back playing again. I want to relax as much as possible and I am sure I will come back stronger."

Wingers Theo Walcott and Tomas Rosicky are also sidelined, so Wenger is keen to add an "exceptional" talent during the transfer window - but only at the right price.

Zenit St Petersburg have turned down an initial £10million bid for wantaway playmaker Andrei Arshavin, but negotiations are understood to be on-going.

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Premier League
Xabi Alonso
Tomas Rosicky
Theo Walcott

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