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Puyol pushes for Fabregas deal

Carles Puyol has described Cesc Fabregas as "perfect" for Barcelona but believes the constant speculation surrounding the Arsenal captain is proving a problem for his international team-mate.

• Barca prepared for long chase
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Fabregas is reported to have told Arsene Wenger that he wants to join Barcelona this summer and although there has been no official bid, the Primera Liga champions confirmed on Tuesday that initial contact has been made between the two clubs.

With Arsenal determined to keep hold of the player who scored 15 goals and claimed 13 assists in the Premier League last season, a protracted transfer battle is anticipated, ruining Fabregas' hopes of resolving his future prior to the World Cup finals.

Puyol believes the ongoing debate is having an impact on his fellow Catalan, but has made clear he hopes to see Fabregas return to the club he left as a 16-year-old in 2003.

"Cesc is an excellent player and a great friend," Puyol said. "For me, he would be perfect for Barcelona. I would love to see him with the azulgrana, but we need to respect that he has a contract with his club.

"It's very unusual to see Cesc nervous, but all this is a little problematic for him, because it's a matter that is being talked about daily and he has fans, a coach and team-mates that he needs to respect."

Fabregas' father told Spanish media on Tuesday that Arsenal should "respect" the decision taken by his son and allow him to rejoin Barcelona. However, former team-mate Robert Pires does expect Arsenal to sell their captain and best player.

"I don't think that Arsenal are going to allow Cesc to leave,'' Pires told Ona FM. "Cesc is the image of Arsenal. I'll bet that we once again see Cesc in an Arsenal shirt. If we see a great Cesc today it's because Arsene Wenger has great confidence in him, as such I don't see Cesc leaving Arsenal."

When asked if Fabregas might try and force his exit, Pires replied: "I don't think so, because he's a very good kid, he has a very good education and knows that he's got to where he has today thanks to Wenger and to the confidence the team has in him.''

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