The Spanish media seemed more convinced than ever on Monday that
Cesc Fabregas was about to depart Premier League club Arsenal for European champions Barcelona, dpa reported
Fabregas left the Barca youth program in 2003, aged just 16, and gradually became the fans' favourite and the club captain at Arsenal. However, for the past two years he has been keen to return to Barca.
Sports daily Marca said on Monday that Barca coach Pep Guardiola "is taking the signing (of Fabregas) for granted."
Marca also said that Barca have raised their offer to Arsenal from 30 million euros (43.1 million dollars) to 36 million, and are also trying to include in the deal several young Barca players.
Fabregas, 24, has missed Arsenal's pre-season tours of Asia and Germany, stating injury.
Meanwhile, Catalan radio station RAC-1 said that "the deal will probably be done this week."
Mundo Deportivo, for its part, said that Fabregas made a pact with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger a year ago, that he would stay with the Gunners for one more season but that Wenger would allow him to leave in summer 20111 if Arsenal endured another trophy-less season - which is exactly what happened.
Catalan daily Sport said on Saturday that Fabregas was "fed up" of playing for a club that has won nothing since 2005.
The Barca fans seem to have mixed feelings about spending heavily on a player who walked out on the club eight years ago. Fabregas was jeered by a section of the Camp Nou when Arsenal lost to Barca in the round of 16 of the Champions League in March, but Guardiola is determined to bring him back.
So far, Barca's only summer signings have been wingers Alexis Sanchez from Italy's Udinese, and Kiko Femenia from Hercules Alicante.