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May 20, 2010

Pique expects Fabregas reunion at Barcelona

Gerard Pique is "convinced" that Cesc Fabregas will follow his lead and turn his back on English football in order to return to Barcelona this summer, despite Arsenal remaining adamant their captain will not be sold.

• Paper Round: Fabregas needs to win
• Adams: Cesc exit to force rethink
• Forum: Is Villa enough for Barca?

Fabregas is believed to have informed Arsene Wenger of his desire to end his seven-year stay at Arsenal and rejoin Barcelona, the club he left as a 16-year-old in order to move to the Premier League.

At Barcelona's La Masia academy, Fabregas forged strong relationships with team-mates Lionel Messi and Pique, and the latter emulated Fabregas in 2004 when opting to turn down a deal at Barca and join Manchester United.

Pique returned to Camp Nou in 2008 though and promptly won the Treble with Pep Guardiola's side. Now he fully expects that Fabregas will also come home to Catalunya and become Barca's second star signing of the summer after Spain striker David Villa.

"I had a similar situation at Manchester United," said Pique in the Daily Mirror. "I am a Barcelona fan, I wanted to return and I am convinced that Cesc will come here.

"I am enjoying the best years of my life and my career here and I think that's why Cesc wants to come. He would fit in well. I found it impossible to resist a return to Barcelona. If he comes along with David Villa then we will have a team the envy of the world."

It is believed that Barcelona are yet to make any formal approach for the midfielder although Fabregas has signalled that he feels the time is right to end his time in England, with concerns over a lack of investment in the Arsenal squad reportedly at the forefront of his mind.

Arsenal are unwilling to sanction the departure of the player who is integral to Arsene Wenger's plans, and chairman Peter Hill-Wood has said: "We are not remotely interested in selling him."

This is a stance firmly supported by the manager, who added: "The chairman told you the story. The more you speak the less good it is."

Reports in Thursday's papers claim a transfer fee could be worth anything from £30 million to £80 million for a player who is on a long-term contract at Emirates Stadium.

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