Emirates boss wants Nou Camp club to leave star alone.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has called for an end to the transfer speculation surrounding captain Cesc Fabregas and Barcelona.
The 24-year-old missed the club’s pre-season to tour to the Far East with a hamstring injury but is expected to return for the club’s trip to Germany to face Cologne on Saturday.
His absence from the Gunners squad did add fuel to the rumours of a move to the Nou Camp was on the cards.
The Spainsh and European champions have been after Fabregas, who grew up in Barca’s youth academy, for the last 12 months.
They have had several bids turned down by Arsenal but are still to match his £45million price tag.
Fabregas is said to be keen on a switch but is torn between returning home and staying with the club he loves and helped make him a superstar.
The uncertainty is a distraction for Arsenal and each passing day reduces the length of time Wenger would have to sign a replacement if Fàbregas returns to the club he left as a 16-year-old.
Wenger says he will not allow the saga to drag on until the start of the season, let alone the closure of the transfer window on August 31.
“We will have to see how far he (Fabregas) is with his injury,” Wenger said.
“He is not back in full training, he is back running on the pitch and the next step is to be back in full training. I will have to assess him [today].
“The problem is we face speculation from everywhere but my target is the same, to keep the players, and my desire to fight for that is the same.”
“We have to stop at some stage . . . I hope we can close that (Barcelona rumours) very quickly in our favour.”