Sunday, November 11, 2007

Fabregas: I will stay at Arsenal

Arsenal star Cesc Fabregas rubbished rumors of a move away from Ashburton Grove despite having visited Barcelona last Wednesday.

The player, who started his career at the Barcelona youth academy, has been heavily linked with a move back to the Camp Nou. He was rested for Arsenal's 0-0 draw with Slavia Prague, but surprised many by spending his break with Alex Hleb in Barcelona, watching the Spanish giants defeat Rangers, courtesy of a goal from former Arsenal talisman Thierry Henry.

Arsene Wenger was the first person to play down the Barcelona link, completely dismissing the reports.

"This is no story," he said. "Fabregas is under contract with us. If Barcelona want to buy any player under contract then I’ll give them my phone number. But I think they have it because they just bought Thierry Henry."

When asked if he would consider an offer, the reply was simple: "No chance."

But there's only so much a coach can do to keep a player at a club, and Cesc Fabregas had always said that he would move back to Spain at some point in his career. For the first time though, he has now stated that he would consider spending the rest of his career with Arsenal.

"When I first came to England I always thought I would return to Spain one day," he said.

"But the truth is that the longer I'm here, the more I like it. I love the city, the club, the people. Every day I get to know more people, I feel closer to the fans and to the team.

"To tell the truth, I feel I will stay here for a long time, even for my whole career.

"I don't know which league is better as I haven't had the opportunity to play in Spain.

"But I feel closer to the Premier League because it's very passionate, fast, direct and vibrant and it's the football that I like. Sometimes I watch Spanish league games and they don't do anything for me."

This is great news for an Arsenal side that has already lost Thierry Henry and Freddy Ljungberg. Fabregas has scored 11 goals this season, and at only 20 years of age, he still has time on his side.

Imagine, if he's already this good now, how amazing he'll be when he peaks at 27 or 28... let's just hope he'll still be at Arsenal in that time.