Belfast Telegraph

Wilson fuming over Fabregas saga

Former Arsenal goalkeeper Bob Wilson has slammed Spanish champions Barcelona after their "completely disrespectful" pursuit of Cesc Fabregas appeared to end in failure.

Arsenal's chances of keeping hold of their captain received a boost on Thursday when he returned to training and took his place alongside his team-mates for the club's official team photo.

But Wilson said: "I think they have shown complete disrespect throughout the whole episode."

Barcelona had seemed determined to land Fabregas earlier this summer when they made a £30million bid the World Cup winning star. Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger rejected the offer and insisted that his talismanic midfielder was not for sale at any price.

That did not stop a number of the club's biggest players, including Lionel Messi and Carles Puyol, from pleading with the Frenchman to allow the Spaniard to return "home".

Barcelona have not been back with a second bid, however, their cause perhaps weakened by the fact that they had to sign up for a 150 million euro loan to pay their players earlier this summer.

Wilson, who spent 11 years at the north London club, added: "They know as well as anyone else that if you are going for the best players in the world then you have to have respect and the bottom line of Barcelona's situation is that they can't afford to buy him for what he is worth. He is worth a minimum of £50million and Barcelona are struggling financially."

Fabregas, who along with Robin van Persie had been given extra time off following their World Cup exploits, looked at ease as he trained in front of 7,000 Arsenal fans at the Emirates Stadium on the club's annual members' day.

After overseeing his development since arriving as a 15-year-old from Barcelona, Wilson now believes that Fabregas owes Arsenal at least another season at the club.

``I don't think we need to tell him that everyone at the club loves him,'' said Wilson. ``He has a second father at the club in Arsene Wenger and I think Arsene will be able to get his head around the fact that he is an Arsenal player and not a Barcelona player."


From Belfast Telegraph