Cesc Fabregas
Fabregas joined Arsenal from Barcelona in 2003.

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Arsenal are involved in negotiations with Barcelona over the transfer of Cesc Fabregas, manager Pep Guardiola confirmed.

The European Champions are prepared to "fight to the end" to bring Fabregas back to the Noun Camp, Guardiola told a news conference, despite admitting the Spain midfielder is not the club's primary target.

"This year Arsenal has agreed to negotiate and we are working on it," he said. "Barcelona has made an offer, Arsenal another and we have time until 31 August and we'll try to reach an agreement.

"There is a sum of money in the strong box set aside for this signing but if it doesn't work out it will be kept in the box for something else. We will fight to the end to try to get Cesc because we believe he will improve the team and the squad."

Fabregas, 24, progressed through Barcelona's youth academy with World Player of the Year Lionel Messi before moving to Arsenal in 2003 at the age of 16.

He held talks with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger at the start of pre-season training this month and did not travel with the squad on their Asian tour due to injury.

Earlier today, Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood questioned how "keen" Barcelona are in signing Fabregas after no new bid was received by the club for the midfielder.

"I am not sure how keen they are," Hill-Wood said. "There are still stories in the [Spanish] press, but they don't talk to us. They've made one offer, which works at around £26m, but that was ages ago.

"At the moment our situation is very straightforward: we don't want to lose him. Obviously, if they come up with an offer which was a very good offer we would have to think about it.

"We have told them [Barcelona] a number of times that what they are proposing is unacceptable and yet they haven't moved on it. I don't approve of what they are doing, but unfortunately it seems the way of the world right now. It has become a real bore and an unnecessary interruption to what we are trying to achieve."

Barcelona sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta indicated that the club's priority during the summer transfer window was signing a striker, with Udinese striker Alexis Sanchez on the verge of a move to the Nou Camp.

"As we understand it, we are in the final stages of the negotiations to sign Sanchez and an agreement will happen very soon.

"But I would have said the same thing this time last week. As in a good film, it seems sometimes the end takes a little longer."