After the appearance of reports yesterday claiming that Arsenal had been forced to request Cesc Fabregas’s presence at the club’s annual Member’s Day and planned to take two separate team photos for the forthcoming season, one with and one without the Spaniard’s presence in the captain’s role, the London club has been quick to dismiss both stories.
An article appearing on Eurosport.co.uk suggests Arsenal were anxious to stress that no threat of disciplinary action proved necessary to prompt the Spaniard’s presence at the club function and that it had no plans to exclude the Catalan midfielder from its group photos.
Fabregas has returned to training this week after recovering from a minor hamstring injury.
If the Arsenal captain continues to go about his business as if unaffected by his club’s ongoing negotiations with Barcelona, manager Arsene Wenger is concerned that the constant speculation is taking its toll.
“He is coming back from an injury and is not settled with us,” he said. “You know all the speculation which is around his position, that has to be sorted out soon. I’m just worried that the player has to be completely focused and committed to our club.”
Though he wouldn’t reveal any specifics, Barcelona Sporting Director Andoni Zubizarreta did confirm yesterday that negotiations between the two clubs were progressing, if slowly.