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Arsenal Fans Prepare to Be Angered

Barcelona director of football Andoni Zubizarreta issues a quiet reminder.

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Barcelona director of football Andoni Zubizarreta has confirmed no deal is in place that will see long-time target Cesc Fabregas join the Catalan giants from Arsenal.

I have not spoken to Wenger about a guarantee for the transfer next season,” Zubizaretta said.

“Cesc is a very good footballer, but now I do not say if he enters into our plans for the next season.

“We will value the player, and we will decide. We will plan, and see if Cesc falls into that plan or not.” (Independent)

Andoni Zubizarreta has only been in his job as the new director of football for FC Barcelona since July, but during his eight year association with the club as a player, he clearly learnt the club’s media policy.

Perhaps I’m being cynical here, but I don’t imagine Zubizaretta’s words are strictly true. I do not doubt that he has not spoken to Arsene Wenger, but equally I would quite happily speculate that by mentioning Fabregas at every occasion – even if it is to say that he is unsure of the club’s plans for the summer – remind the Arsenal captain that he remains in the thoughts of all those at Barcelona.

Barcelona are very cunning, and always play within the transfer guidelines – which is naturally infinitely frustrating for Arsenal fans.

Talking to another club’s player without getting permission from the club is forbidden, but repeatedly praising their ability is not against the rules. Nor is having every single one of your players suggest in wonderfully subtle fashion how great it would be to play alongside them.

Expect every Barca player to come out with words to this effect from now until the end of February – and then throughout the summer.

After all, so accommodating are they to the media, one will never hear that they refuse to comment when it comes to Fabregas.

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