Barcelona captain Carles Puyol has said Cesc Fabregas would be “perfect” for the Catalan giants on a day when the Arsenal captain's father expressed his belief that the Gunners will, reluctantly, end up allowing their prize asset to leave.
Fabregas has long been linked with a return to Barca, the club where he learnt his trade as a youngster before moving to Arsenal as a 16-year-old.
During his time in England Fabregas has developed into one of Europe's best midfielders and Barca, having last week spent £34million on snapping up Valencia striker David Villa, now look to have their sights set on bringing the 23-year-old back to the club.
Puyol believes his international colleague Fabregas would be a great addition to the Spanish champions' squad.
“Cesc is an excellent player and a great friend. For me, he would be perfect for Barcelona. I would love to see him with the azulgrana,” said Puyol.
Fabregas, who has a contract with Arsenal until 2014, revealed recently at a promotional event in Spain that he would like to return to Barca and his father Francesc Fabregas confirmed that the playmaker wants the transfer completed “as soon as possible.”
Puyol said: “It's very unusual to see Cesc nervous, but all this is a little problematic for him, because it's a matter that is being talked about daily and he has fans, a coach and team-mates that he needs to respect.”
However, it seems that there may be no quick resolution to what could be a long-running transfer saga.
Barca corporate director general Joan Oliver confirmed on Monday they have been in contact with Arsenal regarding Fabregas, but not yet made an offer.
Oliver also said there was no deadline by which time Barca hoped to seal the signing.
“Still there is no offer. It's true that the player has shown his desire to play at Barca, possibly this season. We have made a first contact with Arsenal, letting them know our intention to talk and this is the current state of the situation,” said Oliver.
“There is no time-frame. The period is from today and until the deadline for registering players at the end of August.
“We are in no rush and you never know how long these operations can last.”
Francesc Fabregas, who is also Cesc's agent, believes talks between the clubs could be protracted. However, he feels in the end that Arsenal could give the green light for their captain to leave.
“The negotiations between Arsenal and Barcelona are going to be very long,” said Francesc.
“Both parties are going to have to sit down several times because the matter is complicated.”