Cesc strikes deal with Barca-reports


MADRID, February 10 – Arsenal's star midfielder and captain, Cesc Fabregas, has struck a verbal agreement with Champions League holders Barcelona to return to the club next season, Cadena Ser radio reported on Tuesday."There is a firm agreement between Barca and Cesc Fabregas even if it is only verbal," the Spanish station reported without citing its sources.

"Several meetings have taken place and, following those meetings, Cesc told Barca that he wanted to rejoin them from next season," it added.

Cadena Ser said the deal would be subject to agreeing a fee with Arsenal.

The reigning Spanish champions have neither confirmed nor denied the report.

Fabregas, a 22-year-old Spanish international, is Arsenal’s top scorer with 14 goals in all competitions this season and is under contract with the Gunners until 2014.

But his future has once again been the subject of much speculation this season and media reports have consistently linked him with a return to La Liga.

Those reports said Fabregas will move to either Real Madrid or his boyhood club Barcelona, who he left to join the Gunners in September 2003.

Arsenal have been keen to ward off potential suitors from their prized asset.

Britain’s Daily Mirror reported on Tuesday the London club have written to Nou Camp officials warning them not to publicly express their interest in securing the player’s signature.

Fabregas, who was part of the Spanishn side that won the Euro 2008 title, has also recently downplayed talk of a move away from the Premier League.

"I have a cool head, I am very happy at Arsenal and in England there is still a lot for me to do," he told Spanish sports daily Marca in December.