Barcelona are set to land their number one transfer target by bringing Cesc Fabregas to the Nou Camp.
The Spain midfielder is understood to have signed a pre-contract deal with the Catalan giants.
Fabregas, a Barcelona youth-team product, has long been linked with a return to the European champions.
The 22-year-old has pledged his immediate future to the Gunners but Barca president Joan Laporta wants the deal to be completed before the end of the season.
Fabregas’ former team-mate Emmanuel Adebayor believes the move is inevitable.
“I think players like Fabregas will look to leave if they are not in the Champions League, but my focus is all on City now,” he said.
Txiki Begiristain, the Barcelona sporting director, says that he is “sure” Fàbregas will return one day to the club.
Fabregas’ immediate concern is today’s north London derby (12.45) against Tottenham.
And the midfielder wants the Gunners to rediscover their killer instinct against their neighbours.
“We are playing well as a team so far this season but I still think we are guilty of too many individual mistakes and I include all of us in that,” he said.
Meanwhile Steven Gerrard is expected to have surgery and will miss today’s game against Fulham.