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Fabregas is 'suffering' over wish to join Barca, says Xavi

Barcelona midfielder Xavi says Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas has told him he is "suffering" because of his desire to join the Spanish champions.

The transfer saga of Fabregas returning to his former club has been one of the most protracted, ongoing rumours in modern football, but Xavi reckons his compatriot has made his preference of a return to the European champions clear.

Xavi said: "I spoke to Cesc in Ibiza and he said he was suffering because he wanted to come.

"It's more like, he did everything he could to come and wants to leave Arsenal - although he made it clear that now everything depends on the selling club."

Fabregas, 24, is a product of the Barcelona youth system but joined Arsenal in 2003 and has since become a key figure at the club.

Despite Xavi's revelations, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said on Monday that he sees Fabregas leading his club in the hunt for trophies in the coming season

"Cesc loves the club and hopefully we will manage," Wenger said. "We know that this story for Barcelona has gone on for years now, we have to close that and focus on the season, hopefully with Cesc Fabregas."

With constant rumours linking Fabregas and Samir Nasri to moves away from the Emirates and Gael Clichy already signing for Manchester City, Wenger may enter the campaign with a new-look squad having already signed Charlton youngster Carl Jenkinson and Lille forward Gervinho.