Fabregas underlines his admiration for Barca
Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas has underlined his respect for Barcelona as they continue the pursuit for his signature - but suggested he remains committed to Arsenal.
On Wednesday, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger again reiterated that Fabregas was not for sale at any price, but that message is unlikely to deter Barca as the transfer deadline draws nearer.
Fabregas also spoke of his high regard for Wenger, but his comments about Barcelona will not put Gunners fans' minds at rest.
Fabregas is due to fly back into Heathrow airport on Thursday as he returns to the club's London Colney training ground after an extended post-World Cup break.
In an interview with Spanish lifestyle magazine DIR Emotions, Fabregas said: "I am from Barcelona. I am a club member, along with my grandfather, my uncle and my cousin. I feel those colours and have since I was young. I am Catalan, I am from Arenys, I have come through the Barca youth system.
"Those players are my friends and have been for many years. They play stellar football and everything they have won they deserve 100%. [Carles] Puyol gives me confidence and has taken care of me like an older brother. Bojan inspires calm. [Sergio] Busquets is simple and authentic. Xavi is a maestro. [Andres] Iniesta has so much patience, especially given what has happened to him in terms of injuries. [Lionel] Messi is calm, shy, and very kind. [Victor] Valdes has a lot of personality.
"However, I am Arsenal's captain. I am a Gunner and that is where I have made myself as a player and matured as a person. He [Arsene Wenger] is a second father to me, the most important person in my life after my father. He has been very supportive of me and has treated my like a son. I am part of his family.
"He does not want me to leave. My last conversation with him in London was one of the most difficult moments I have had to live. I am left very touched.
"I want to continue fighting for every title, especially the Champions League, because I am a winner."