ON (AFP) Barcelona midfielder Xavi has told Arsenal they will only have Cesc Fabregas on loan for a year if the Spanish champions are unable to sign the Gunners captain this season.
Barca had a 25-million-pound (38 million dollar) bid for Fabregas rejected earlier in the close-season and, although the Arsenal midfielder has made it clear he would love to return to his former club, there is no sign of a deal being completed in the immediate future.
The 23-year-old Fabregas still has five years to go on his current Arsenal contract and Gunners manager Arsene Wenger is desperate to keep his prize asset.
But Xavi, who played with Fabregas in Spains World Cup-winning team, is convinced the player will move to the Nou Camp in 12 months time if Barca cant get him now.
We know where Cesc wants to be this coming season, but perhaps there is not enough time for Barcelona and Arsenal to agree a deal, Xavi told the Daily Express.
Arsenal need to understand they are only delaying the inevitable.
If we dont manage to get his signature this season then Arsenal only really have him on loan for a year - because there is nothing they can do to stop him joining next summer. I havent given up on him joining us this season but, if he doesnt, it wont be more than a year before he is back home.
His people will have a whole season to sort out the deal between the two clubs and it will happen at the very latest next summer.
Xavi claims Fabregas told his international team-mates he was keen on joining Barcelona while on World Cup duty.
We were all with him for five weeks in South Africa and we know he wants to be at Barcelona, he made it very clear, Xavi added.
But he will under no circumstances do anything that will upset the Arsenal fans. And thats probably why we are going to have to wait for him for another year.