By Nick Teale
Arsène Wenger does not want the build-up to the Champions League Quarter-Final to be dominated by speculation linking Cesc Fabregas with a summer move to Barcelona.
The captain has been consistently linked with a transfer to his former club despite equally consistent denials by the player himself as well as Wenger.
The rumours will inevitably re-surface ahead of the Gunners' Champions League clash with Pep Guardiola's side but the Arsenal manager would prefer the build-up to the game to focus on strictly footballing matters.
"I believe it is an exciting tie for football reasons," said the manager.
"The worry in the modern game is when you go to matches, you do not focus on football any more.
"When Chelsea played against Man City, people were more focussed on the Wayne Bridge/John Terry handshake. I was excited to watch a good football game.
"We have to make sure in our job we focus on what is important and what we love, it is not the stories which the media dictates to people - it should be about what really matters to people and that means football.
"In my job, I have to make sure that is the case."Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source