Villa keen on Fabregas link-up

Barcelona forward David Villa has reiterated his desire to see Spain team-mate Cesc Fabregas join him at the Nou Camp next season.

Arsenal star Fabregas has been continually linked with a return to the Catalan giants, and despite Arsene Wenger's insistence that his club captain will remain at Emirates Stadium, it is widely reported that the Spaniard will make the switch to La Liga before the close of the current transfer window.

Former Valencia striker Villa, who joined Barcelona last season in a €40 million deal, has expressed his eagerness to link up with his international team-mate at club level, having both been part of the 2010 World Cup-winning squad.

Speaking to, Villa said: "I am not hiding what I think of Cesc. I have a weakness for him. I view him as a friend and hopefully he will complete his transfer."

Fabregas is valued at £40 million by the North London club, a figure which has so far proved to be a stumbling block to any potential transfer.

The 24-year-old fuelled speculation over his imminent departure by not travelling with the rest of the Arsenal squad on their pre-season tour of Asia.

However, he has assured Arsenal's fans on the continent he will make amends for his absence, writing on social networking website Twitter: "I'm sorry to all the fans in Asia that I won't be on the tour. After just returning from Indonesia I know how special [you all are]. I'll make it up [to you]."

By Andrew Kennedy