Belfast Telegraph

Cesc Fabregas will join me at Barcelona: Lionel Messi

Barcelona winger Lionel Messi is confident Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas will complete his much talked-about return to the Nou Camp.

Arsenal, who rejected a £30million bid from the Catalan giants at the beginning of the summer, have remained firm in their stance that Fabregas is not for sale at any price.

Fabregas has made no secret of the fact he would love a return to Barca, where he started his career as a youth-team player before moving to the Gunners in 2003, and admitted on Friday that he is torn between the two clubs.

Barca players, many of who progressed through the famous La Masia academy with Fabregas, have long pleaded with him to come back, and Messi has reiterated their desire.

“It is no secret that Cesc is my friend. The whole world knows that and I would love him to sign for Barca,” the Argentina international (right) said.

“I hope that the matter can be resolved soon and I'm confident that in the end it will be resolved in the way that Cesc can be a Barcelona player.”

Fabregas still has five years remaining on his Gunners contract, and last night manager Arsene Wenger called on the Spain star to make up his mind where his future lies.

The 23-year-old is set to link up with Arsenal after this weekend's Emirates Cup, following his extended break after winning the World Cup with La Roja.

Meanwhile, Johan Djourou believes Arsenal's chances of lifting the Barclays Premier League trophy this season will take a huge blow if Fabregas decides to leave for Barcelona.

Djourou says that Fabregas is a “vital” member of the team and must remain if they are to win their first Premier League trophy since 2004.

“We all know that Fabregas is an important player for us. He is a great player,” said the Swiss defender.

“It is vital that he stays with us so we can keep the team together because that's the most important thing — that we keep all the players.

“We need him. It's his decision and we can't do anything about it but I hope he stays.”

Djourou reckons that the team are ready to end six trophy-less years by bringing the Premier League title to the Emirates.

“We can't wait to get the season started,” said Djourou.

“Now we are ready to deliver.

“We have been saying this for years but we have been missing that little bit.

“Now I believe we are ready to push for first place. We want to be up there.

“We now have the quality to do it.”

Wenger is keen to add a defender to his squad after the departures of the experienced trio of William Gallas, Mikael Silvestre and Sol Campbell this summer.

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