- Premier League
Talks with Vilanova to decide Fabregas future
Cesc Fabregas is to seek assurances from Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova over his future at the club this week, before deciding whether to push for a return to the Premier League.
Fabregas, 26, is believed to be a target for champions Manchester United this summer - while Arsenal have right of first refusal on the midfielder they sold to the Spanish league winners for £25 million nearly two years ago.
The Spain international would prefer to stay at the Nou Camp but has not always warranted a starting position under Vilanova this season. He will sit down with the manager this week, where he is widely expected to push for certain guarantees about his first-team involvement for next season.
If Vilanova is unable to give him those assurances, Fabregas is expected to open the door for a return to the Premier League. Arsenal will be hopeful of securing his services - the player still follows the club's results passionately, and they do have a buy-back option - but Manchester United's greater history of trophy success may prove even more persuasive.
"I think at the moment he's lacking the confidence of being a regular player," Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger told Al Jazeera on Sunday. "Recently he has not been that.
"Cesc is such a passionate player, a player of such quality, that it must hurt him not to play in every single game. That's what he misses. When you come in and out you never play with full confidence."
Manchester City and Chelsea could both also enter the bidding, should Fabregas declare his intention to depart.
In April, Fabregas acknowledged he has not been the pivotal player at Barcelona that he was at Arsenal - although he denied being frustrated by his role within the squad.
"I accept I am not yet a leader in the way I was at Arsenal," he said, according to the Daily Mail. "To achieve that here you have to be winning honours time after time. I know perfectly what my role in the team is. I feel more comfortable in my second season and I've had more continuity. It's been a big evolution for me.
"The level of demand is so high at the club. I have to give everything and in this club you have to accept criticism both at journalistic and street level. I cannot complain about how they treat me. I am happy with my number of goals and assists this season."