Pires - Barca move down to Fab
Robert Pires says it will be up to Cesc Fabregas to decide whether he leaves Arsenal to join Barcelona.
By Lucas Brown & Hayley Paterson
Last Updated: 20/02/10 3:36pm
Former Arsenal star Robert Pires said it will be up to Cesc Fabregas to decide whether he leaves North London to join Barcelona.
The French midfielder believes Gunners boss Arsene Wenger will be virtually powerless to stop Barca from re-signing their former youth team star after current president Joan Laporta has for many seasons made no secret of his admiration for the Spanish midfielder.
But while Wenger will not be impressed by a huge bid, Pires said any transfer could come down to whether Fabregas wants to leave and fight for a spot in Pep Guardiola's side.
"Wenger is not influenced by money," the 36-year-old told Spanish radio station Ona FM.
"He just always wants to have the best players.
"But Barcelona have an intelligent president and if they want to do a transfer, then they will do it.
"The key will be if Cesc is not content at Arsenal then he will look for a solution to that.
"At Arsenal he is the captain and Wenger has complete faith in him, which is important because he knows that he will play.
"But at Barca it is more difficult. He has to choose and it will be complicated."
The Villarreal midfielder is also convinced that Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery will snub a move to the Premier League and the riches of Real Madrid in favour of Barcelona.
"I think it is clear that he will come here," said the ex-Marseille playmaker.
"I am sure that he will end up playing in Spain but what I do not know is where.
"Sometimes it is not all about money. What also counts is where you will be able to adapt better and who the coach is and how much confidence in you he has."