Fabregas saga 'not in our hands', says Barca boss

Fabregas saga 'not in our hands', says Barca boss

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola admits the Catalan club are losing their battle to sign Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas.

The Spanish champions have been pursuing the Spain midfielder all summer and had a bid of €35m turned down by the Gunners before the World Cup.

New president Sandro Rosell had hoped to wrap up a deal for the 23-year-old with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger in South Africa, but was left frustrated and Guardiola believes there is nothing more Barca can do because the north London club seem unwilling to do business.

"We want him to come, but if Arsenal don't want to negotiate, he won't come," Guardiola said today.

"I don't know the status of the negotiations. But I believe he is wanted at Arsenal and at other clubs like (Real) Madrid as well - he's a great player."

The Barca coach also accepts that, if Arsenal do sell, they are likely to hold out for a big fee for their prized asset.

"I think bringing in Cesc will cost a lot," he said.

Meanwhile, Guardiola paid tribute to Fabregas' former Arsenal team-mate, Thierry Henry, who left the Nou Camp to join the New York Red Bulls last week.

"Barca are grateful to all the players who have been at the club and even more to a player that has given us so much," Guardiola said.

"Whatever happens, I will have good memories of him and I hope things go well for him in New York."

Henry is one of several players to have left the club this summer, with midfielder Yaya Toure and defender Dmytro Chygrynskiy also moving on.

Chygrynskiy returned to Shakhtar Donetsk following a sole season at the Nou Camp and, although the coach was reluctant to let the Ukraine centre-back go, he admits the sale was necessary to balance the books.

"My opinion counts, but the needs of the club go above that and that's why he was sold," said Guardiola.

"I would like to have kept him."

Toure joined Manchester City in a big-money deal. Guardiola regrets the Ivorian's departure, claiming he did everything in his power to keep the player at Barca.

"It's a big blow for us," he said.

"I did everything possible to get him to stay and he's a popular player in the dressing room, but he wanted to leave and there's not much I could do.

"I am grateful for everything he gave Barca and I hope he finds a (regular) place (at City) that I was unable to give him."

Guardiola is looking to bring in another defensive midfielder, but says that will depend on the possible arrival of Fabregas.

"We are looking at a player in the profile of Toure, although if we sign Cesc we can adapt him to that position and look for another more attacking player," he said.

"It depends on the negotiations we have opened and the financial possibilities of the club."

Barca have already brought in two players this summer, with Spain striker David Villa signing from Valencia before the World Cup and Brazilian defender Adriano Correia joining from Sevilla last week.

Guardiola believes both players give him great options tactically.

"Villa can play up front or on the left wing. He is a player with great movement into space and he has always scored goals," he said.

"Adriano can play left-back, right-back and on both wings - I believe the club have made a great signing."

Guardiola does not expect any more departures this summer, but says Mexico defender Rafael Marquez and Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic must make decisions over their futures.

"Marquez's future depends on him. After everything he has given the club, he will be the one to decide his future," he said.

"Ibrahimovic had a really good season last year. He will decide his future - he is a special player.

"I have not spoken with the previous president (Joan Laporta) or the new one (Rosell) to put him on the market.

"If he stays, he is a player who needs to continue to be important for us. He will decide what to do with his agent."

Guardiola has resolved his own future, however, by signing a new contract to remain at the club for one more season.

"I'm very happy to continue for one more year. I want to keep on doing my job well and make people proud of us," he said.

The Barca coach was offered a six-year deal by Rosell, but prefers to stick to shorter contracts.

"I feel more comfortable with one-year contracts," he said. "I am grateful for the confidence shown in me by the new board in offering me a six-year contract, but I prefer working with short contracts - it's something personal."

All being well, though, Guardiola plans to stay on for a further year at the Nou Camp.

"I need to feel that things are working and that what I am doing is right, but if everything is going well and I feel strong, I will carry on next year," he said.

And the Barca coach is looking forward to the challenge of facing new Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho.

"He is one of the best coaches in the world, if not the best, so the fact that he is coming to the Spanish league is good," he said.

"We beat Madrid by three points last year (in the Primera Division) and because of small details. They will continue to be competitive and they haven't won anything for two years, so we'll have to keep improving.

"They have more zeros (money) than us, so we'll have to have more enthusiasm."

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