Barcelona have issued a statement denying reports on Spanish radio that Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas has verbally agreed to join the Catalans at the end of the season.
The Gunners' midfielder - who has netted 14 times in all competitions in 2009/10 - has long been linked with a move to the Camp Nou, having left Barca's youth ranks to sign for Arsene Wenger's side in 2003.
Fabregas has repeatedly insisted that he is committed to Arsenal's cause as they go in search of a first trophy since the 2005 FA Cup - while admitting that he does dream of returning to his former club one day in the future.
According to Spanish radio station Cadena Ser on Tuesday, the 22-year-old - who has made 180 league appearances for the Gunners - had verbally agreed to join Barca, with the European Cup holders now needing to seal a deal with Arsenal.
However, the Camp Nou club have rubbished the reports, stating that they have no intention of approaching the player before contacting his club.
"Given the exceptional repercussions created by the stories that have appeared in different media with respect to an agreement with Arsenal FC player Cesc Fabregas, FCB flatly denies that there have been any negotiations or agreements with the player," read a statement.
"In accordance with FIFA regulations, FC Barcelona’s contract policy has always made it a priority to negotiate with the club of origin before making any particular agreement with the player.
"FC Barcelona wishes to stress that it has always maintained excellent institutional relations with Arsenal FC."
Emirates Stadium supremo Wenger, meanwhile, has said that the latest speculation surrounding his skipper does not bother him in the slightest.
"There is no concern at all. What is more of a concern is that we try everything to win something," he said.
"Cesc is committed when he plays. We don’t know what will happen in six months, in two years, in five years. Your commitment is when you sign your contract and where you play."comments