Spanish midfielder Xavi has reopened the can of worms surrounding the future of Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas by insisting Barcelona have not given up hope of bringing the Catalan home.
The 30-year-old Barca star is desperate for his World Cup-winning team-mate to join him at the Nou Camp this season following a summer of relentless speculation surrounding the Arsenal talisman.
GEAR: Get a Fabregas shirt
Fabregas, 23, put an end to the rumours last Friday by insisting he was staying at Emirates Stadium for another season, but now Xavi believes a deal could be struck in January if the Gunners fail to get off to a winning start.
“Nobody at Barca has given up on the Cesc [Fabregas] deal. We have made that very clear," Barca's mercurial midfield maestro said, as reported by the Daily Star.
“If Arsenal are way behind Chelsea and Manchester United in the league by the January transfer window and out of Europe, then Cesc will be even more disheartened with the club than he is now.
“If that is the case I don’t see how they could stop him coming in January.”
History suggests that last season's La Liga champions seldom conduct major moves in the winter transfer window, making any move for Fabregas in January unlikely, much to Xavi's frustration.
“You should never cage an animal that is meant to be in the wild and you can’t cage a player of Cesc’s talent," Xavi continued. “He needs to be at a club where he can win trophies.”
“Without him they [Arsenal] have no chance of major trophies but if they can’t assemble a squad to challenge for them, then it’s just not fair to keep Cesc against his will.
“He has given sweat, blood and tears for the club's cause but has just not had the necessary quality around him in order to win trophies."
Arsenal reportedly turned down a £40 million Barca-bid for Fabregas on Sunday and will be hoping the saga is now over, until next year.
By James Martinicomments