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English Premiership

Barca step up Fabregas pursuit

MADRID, May 19 – Barcelona are considering a move for Arsenal's Spanish star Cesc Fabregas after the player said he would like to return to the Catalan giants, Barcelona president Joan Laporta said on Tuesday."It’s remarkable that a player should commit himself in this way. If the club’s technical staff believe we need to make the extra effort and sign him, we’ll speak to Arsenal," he said in comments published on Barcelona’s website.

Last week Fabregas, 23, who has sparked interest from other clubs, said he would only leave Arsenal for Barcelona.

"I have never hidden the fact that playing for Barcelona is a dream that I would like to fulfill and if I must leave Arsenal it would only be to play at Barca," the midfielder said.

Barcelona have held a long-standing interest in Fabregas, who quit the Spanish club in September 2003 at the age of just 16 after being offered more first-team opportunities at Arsenal.

But Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said last month that his captain would not be sold.

Fabregas, who has 48 caps for Spain, has been out of action since cracking a bone in his fibula during a Champions League quarter-final first-leg game against Barcelona on March 31.

But he is confident of recovering in time to make Spain’s World Cup squad.

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