Cesc Fabregas has committed his immediate future to Arsenal and allayed any fears Arsene Wenger may have had that a final bid from Barcelona would prove irresistable to the board.
With the World Cup winner confirmed as staying, Arsenal’s Premier League title chances now look a whole lot better, and the 13-time champions appear generously priced at 6/1 to finish top.
“I can assure all the fans that now the negotiations have ended I will be 100 per cent focused on playing for Arsenal,” Fabregas said. “I am an Arsenal player and as soon as I step out on to the pitch, that is the only club I will be thinking about.
“I am looking forward to the start of the season and putting this speculation behind me.”
Fabregas revealed that Barcelona has two formal offers for him turned down and the Catalans’ 3/1 chances of regaining the Champions League will be hit.
Fabregas said: “Firstly I would like to apologise to all the Arsenal fans for not speaking sooner about my future but I have not known what I was going to do until this moment.
“I cannot deny that joining a club like Barcelona was not an attractive move for me. This was the club where I learnt my football, it is my home town where my friends and family are and a club where I have always dreamed of playing.
“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.”
Fabregas will now be concentrating on winning Arsenal some silverware for the first time in over five years. The Gunners are 16/1 to win the Champions League, 7/1 to win the FA Cup, and 12/1 to win the Carling Cup.
“I am a professional and I fully understand that it is Arsenal’s prerogative not to sell me,” he said. ”I owe a lot to the club, manager and the fans and I will respect their decision and will now concentrate on the new season ahead with Arsenal.”
First up for Fabregas will be a trip to Anfield to take on Liverpool, and after fending off Barca, Wenger is 15/8 to win another battle.