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Sunday, Aug. 14, 2011

Fabregas move expected


BARCELONA, Spain — Barcelona defenders Gerard Pique and Carles Puyol believe Cesc Fabregas' transfer to the Spanish club from Arsenal is imminent.

They both sent messages on Twitter saying the deal is almost done, while goalkeeper Victor Valdes said in a news conference he expected it to be finalized later Friday.

Puyol tweeted "welcome home . . . great to have you here," while Pique wrote: "We have him here!"

"I think that the deal is practically confirmed — I'm certain he will come and he will be with us," Valdes said in a news conference. "I can't imagine (Barcelona without Fabregas) but as you know anything can happen in football. I think he will be signed in a matter of hours."

Arsenal is currently considering an offer for the 24-year-old Fabregas from the Spanish and European champions, who have tried to bring the Spain midfielder back to his boyhood club since 2009.

Spanish reports put the last offer at about ?40 million ($57 million) including variables.

Fabregas left for Arsenal in September 2003 and became the Gunners' youngest ever starter one month later at age 16.

Fabregas, who won the 2010 World Cup and 2008 European Championship with Spain, has scored 57 goals in 303 appearances and won one league title and the F.A. Cup with Arsenal.

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