Catalunya call up Fabregas

MADRID - Catalunya coach Johan Cruyff went ahead and named Cesc Fabregas in his squad for next week's friendly against Argentina, despite Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger previously saying the player was not available.

Arsenal and Spain midfielder Fabregas was part of a 20-man squad named on Monday by Cruyff, who took over as coach of the Spanish region last month.

On Friday, Wenger said: "We don't allow players to play in friendlies because we have too many games.

"There is a demand for Cesc but there is a demand for five or six other players. We play on December 27 and I didn't rest the players against Olympiakos (to then) let them play a friendly."

The club statement on said Wenger had tried to contact Cruyff, but had been unable to speak to him personally.

World Cup-bound Argentina, who will be without banned coach Diego Maradona, play Catalunya at Barcelona's Nou Camp on December 22. The Catalan squad features six Barca players including Gerard Pique, Carles Puyol and Xavi.