Sport Soccer

Tuesday 16 January 2018

Barca 'promise' not to swoop for Fabregas

Glenn Moore

IT TURNS out Arsenal's trip to Barcelona this month was not fruitless after all. Arsene Wenger's team may have been dispatched from the Champions League after a 4-1 humbling at the feet of Lionel Messi but, in the boardroom, they appear to have won a victory, writes Glenn Moore.

Following the start of the traditional spring speculation season as to when Cesc Fabregas will return to Catalonia, the Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood has revealed Barcelona made a promise not to pursue their former youth team player this summer.

"There was a private conversation that took place in the boardroom and assurances have been made at the highest possible level,'' Hill-Wood said. "Arsenal do not expect those to be broken."

This revelation was slightly weakened when Hill-Wood admitted he had not been present at the time, but had been told of the conversation later. Nor is Fabregas, currently out injured, likely to be impressed when he hears Hill-Wood's subsequent comment that "if you want my opinion, I'm not sure he would even get in their team".

However, as Andres Iniesta's run of injuries has underlined, football is a squad game and Fabregas would enhance any squad.

Last night Barcelona extended their lead over La Liga rivals Real Madrid to six points with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Deportivo la Coruna at the Camp Nou.

Bojan opened the scoring with a cool finish early on, though Pep Guardiola's side had to wait until midway through the second half before Pedro doubled the lead with a long-range effort that looped over a stranded Daniel Aranzubia.

Substitute Yaya Toure rounded things off with a fierce volley that squirmed between the 'keeper and a defender on the post from Xavi's corner.

The result means Real Madrid need to win at Almeria tonight to move back to within three points of their big rivals. (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent

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