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By ESPN Staff

Guardiola rules out Fabregas move - for now

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola has ruled out the possibility of signing Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas this summer. Barca have long been linked with their former youth player and there were reports they were set to make a mega offer after sporting director Txiki Begiristain admitted the club are interested in the 22-year-old.

Fabregas' value is sure to have increased still further after he scored a brace in Arsenal's 6-1 demolition of Everton and Guardiola believes he will not be returning to the Nou Camp just yet.

"Cesc will not come," said the Barca boss. "He is an important player for Arsenal and they have already sold Kolo (Toure) and (Emmanuel) Adebayor.

"I believe it will not be possible this season. He is a very interesting footballer but now he will play another year in England."

Barca are feeling some pressure to spend from their fans following the spending spree of rivals Real Madrid, who have invested more than 250million euros on the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka and Xabi Alonso this summer.

But Guardiola has been impressed by his players and feels they can have another stunning campaign to follow last year's treble-winning season.

He added: "I have been surprised by the behaviour they've come back with and the intensity with which they've been training.

"I didn't need to talk to them too much and I feel we will compete very well this year because of the character they have."

However, Emmanuel Adebayor has stirred the pot, saying he believes Cesc Fabregas will follow him out of Arsenal if the Gunners do not make it into the group phase of the Champions League.

Adebayor, who left the Emirates Stadium in a £25million move to Manchester City earlier this summer, is adamant the club must prove they are still capable of challenging for top honours in order to hang on to their talismanic playmaker.

"I think it's possible they could lose Cesc if they don't get into the Champions League," Adebayor was quoted as saying in the Sunday Mirror.

"Cesc is a very good player. I have played with Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp, but I would go for Cesc as the best I have played with.

"He has good vision and in one pass he can change the game. Since he was 16 he has enjoyed Arsenal, so for him it will be a blow if they are not in the Champions League.

"If that happens there is a chance that Cesc and the other big players will leave.

"He's an intelligent person and at the right moment, he will make the right decision."

Arsene Wenger meanwhile had insisted in his Friday pre-match press conference that there was "no chance" of Fabregas going anywhere.


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