'No Fabregas deal'
MADRID - Barcelona denied yesterday that they had struck an agreement with Arsenal's star midfielder and captain Cesc Fabregas to return to the Champions League holders next season.
"Given the extraordinary impact of reports in different media about an accord with the Arsenal player Cesc Fabregas, Barcelona categorically denies negotiations or accords of any kind with the player," the club said on its website.
On Tuesday Spanish radio station Cadena Ser said the club and the player had reached a verbal agreement and all that remained was for a fee to be agreed with Arsenal.
Fabregas, a 22-year-old Spanish international, is Arsenal's top scorer with 14 goals in all competitions this season and is under contract with the Gunners until 2014.
But his future has once again been the subject of much speculation this season and media reports have consistently linked him with a return to La Liga.
Those reports said Fabregas will move to either Real Madrid or his boyhood club Barcelona. He left Barca to join the Gunners in 2003.
Britain's Daily Mirror reported on Tuesday that the London club have written to Nou Camp officials warning them not to publicly express their interest in securing the player's signature.
However Barcelona denied receiving any such letter.
"Barcelona would like to state that we maintain excellent relations with Arsenal," the club said. - AFP