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Wenger: Fabregas news is 'huge lift'

Arsene Wenger believes Cesc Fabregas's commitment to Arsenal has given everyone at the club a "huge lift" as he now focuses fully on the start of the Premier League season.

• Fabregas commits to Arsenal
Barca working on alternatives

Talismanic skipper Fabregas released a statement on Friday confirming he would stay on at the Emirates Stadium this season, ending the summer's biggest transfer saga as Barcelona failed to secure their target, for now at least.

Wenger stood firm in the midst of multiple bids and public cajoling from Barcelona's players to hang on to his prized asset. The Gunners boss will now be able to prepare for the next Sunday's Premier League opener with Liverpool at Anfield knowing he has his star player in tow.

"He is our captain, he is our leader,'' Wenger told the club's official website. "You could see in the training session how much a lift it is for everybody who loves Arsenal. When I was at the World Cup I met so many people in South Africa and the first thing I heard was 'Don't let Fabregas go'. That means it is a huge lift for everybody who loves the club.''

Wenger declined to reveal any discussions he had with Fabregas, adding: "The situation is as it is. I believe it is important in my job that I do not come out with private conversations I have with the players. That would be unfair. But Cesc has come out to clear the air. It was very important for us that Cesc did that clearly and that we can move on from now. We are one week away from the start of the season so just we want to be focused and settled now.''

Fabregas' future has been resolved for now, but speculation could resurface next summer after the player admitted a return to his native Catalonia was an "attractive'' proposition.

Fabregas said: "I cannot deny that joining a club like Barcelona was not an attractive move for me. There are not many players in the world who would not want to play for Barcelona. I have had many conversations with Arsene Wenger both in person and over the phone over the last few months and although the content of those conversations will remain private, the conclusion is that Barcelona have had two formal offers rejected by Arsenal. I am a professional and I fully understand that it is Arsenal's prerogative not to sell me. I can assure all the fans that now the negotiations have ended I will be 100% focused on playing for Arsenal.''

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