By Richard Clarke
Arsène Wenger insists that the stories surrounding Cesc Fabregas moving to Barcelona have to stop.
The Spanish midfielder has been consistently linked with a move to the Nou Camp throughout the summer. Arsenal put out a strongly-worded statement when the issue first arose but the story has just not gone away.
Speaking after Saturday's 4-0 victory over Barnet, Wenger re-affirmed his desire to keep Fabregas and outlined that he and Sandro Rosell, the new Barca president, had found a common understanding.
"There was a lot of unneeded talk," he said. "It is not pleasant to read this every day. Now, the story has to stop.
"Cesc is our captain, he is so important to us and we want to keep him, that is why we were not listening to any offers.
"It was not a problem of money, just the desire to keep him at the club.
"We can only influence our own behaviour, and I believe things have now gone straight again with Sandro Rosell. We always had a consistent attitude and were always reluctant to talk about Cesc's departure.
"It is very important we give the impression that because somebody wants a player from us, we don't just give in," he went on.
"We have shown our love and care for Cesc since the start. I believe Cesc loves the club, has shown his attachment to the club many times and I am very confident the story will end there. We want Cesc to be part of our club next year, and that is it.
"What we want is to build a team for the future, to develop our team and are not in any talks for next year or the year after - we want our players to be focused on the targets we have at the Club."