Barcelona midfielder Xavi has risked infuriating Arsenal by expressing his ambition to play with Cesc Fabregas at the Nou Camp and claiming his Spain team-mate has ''Barca DNA''.
Fabregas started his career at the Catalan giants before Arsene Wenger recruited him in 2003 as a 16-year-old - but he has consistently been linked with a return to La Liga since establishing himself in the Premier League.
As the player of the tournament for Euro 2008 and being highlighted as the crucial component of last season's treble-winning Barca team, 29-year-old Xavi is viewed as an influential figure at his club and his comments could be seen as increasing pressure on the Arsenal captain to move.
''I'd like to play with him,' Xavi told Spanish newspaper El Mundo Deportivo. ''I've always said that in the national team I link up with Cesc very well, despite the fact that many say we can't play together.
''We demonstrated in the final of the European Championship that isn't true. I especially hope that Cesc comes. He is a football player with Barca DNA and he is showing at Arsenal that he is on another level.
''I would love him to sign and that we could play together at Barca. Clearly, a lot of his career is ahead of him and I think that in the future will be at Barca.''