[QODLink]
Football

Fabregas won’t leave 'dream' club

Barcelona teammate Gerard Pique confident midfielder won't be leaving Primera Division champions for Manchester United.

Last Modified: 05 Aug 2013 14:38
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
United have shown continued interest in Fabregas, despite three years remaining on his Camp Nou deal [GETTY]

Cesc Fabregas will resist overtures from Manchester United to stay at his "dream" club Barcelona, his teammate and close friend Gerard Pique said Monday.

The English Premier League champions have so far failed with two bids for Fabregas, who has emerged as their main summer transfer target as new boss David Moyes seeks to inject a creative force into his midfield.

But Pique, a close confidante of the midfield maestro since their time at Barcelona's acclaimed La Masia academy, said Fabregas was determined to stay in Catalonia and fight for a starting place at the club he left as a 16-year-old.

"He wants to stay in Barcelona because it's always been his dream (to play for Barca)," Pique said.

"I'm confident he will stay on. He's a good player, he will always have offers because of his talent, but he is feeling quite calm right now," the towering 26-year-old defender told reporters in Thailand at the start of Barca's whistle-stop Asia tour.

His comments echo those of Barcelona sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta, who told Spanish media Monday that Manchester United have abandoned their interest in the playmaker.

Xavi heir

Fabregas, who was met with garlands as he arrived in Bangkok with his teammates, has failed to nail down a starting position in Barca's star-studded midfield. His international teammates Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets are ahead of him in the pecking order, especially in big matches.

But Barca are reluctant to sell the pint-sized Fabregas, especially since the loss of Thiago Alcantara to Bayern Munich.

Barca enticed Fabregas back from Arsenal with a long-term view to him replacing the 33-year-old Xavi, who is expected to play fewer games in the coming season.

But Iniesta said competition for places at the Primera Division champions was not something that deters the players.

"It's about the performance of the whole team, we have to look at the whole picture," he told reporters at a press conference hours after the Barca touring team arrived in Bangkok.

Barcelona return to Asia three years after their last tour of the football-mad continent - home to a massive fan base and huge potential sums in sponsorship.

The tour is a final chance for new manager Gerardo Martino to assess his players in official friendly action before the start of the Primera Division season on August 18.

The new boss has impressed Barca's superstars so far, according to Pique.

"There's been no major changes, the new coach is adjusting pretty well to the club and the ways of the club," he said.

"He likes to talk personally to the players."

After facing Thailand's national side on Wednesday Barca will travel to Kuala Lumpur to play a Malaysia XI on August 10.

489

Source:
AFP
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Swathes of the British electorate continue to show discontent with all things European, including immigration.
Astronomers have captured images of primordial galaxies that helped light up the cosmos after the Big Bang.
Critics assail British photographer's portrayal of indigenous people, but he says he's highlighting their plight.
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
Featured
No one convicted after 58 people gunned down in cold blood in 2009 in the country's worst political mass killing.
While hosting the World Internet Conference, China tries Tiananmen activist for leaking 'state secrets' to US website.
Once staunchly anti-immigrant, some observers say the conservative US state could lead the way in documenting migrants.
NGOs say women without formal documentation are being imprisoned after giving birth in Malaysia.
Public stripping and assault of woman and rival protests thereafter highlight Kenya's gender-relations divide.