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Rewind to Boxing Day 1963

Barclays Premier League
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Guardiola understands Arsenal stance on Cesc

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola has admitted that he fully understands Arsenal's position over Cesc Fabregas - but he will not let the summer-long saga affect Barcelona's preparations for the new season.

"I understand Arsenal and I understand Wenger, I wouldn't have let him leave either," he told reporters after Barca concluded their Asian tour with a 3-0 win over Beijing Guoan on Sunday.

"I just hope Cesc carries on enjoying what is such a special and competitive league, the Premier."

"I'm not worried about those that aren't here, it won't affect any of our plans."

Despite having two offers under €40 million rejected by the Gunners, Guardiola failed to rule out making an alternative signing before the transfer window closes at the end of August.

"The market is open until the end of the month and we will look to see what we can find, but there's no hurry," he said. "We have a great squad to compete in all competitions and that is our objective once more."

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