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Newcastle 12:45 Arsenal

Guardiola dodges Fabregas talk

Camp Nou boss confident champions will overcome slow start

Last Updated: 06/10/10 10:31pm

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Fabregas: Future rumours continue

Fabregas: Future rumours continue

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Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola has refused to be drawn on his continued interest in Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas.

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The defending Primera Liga champions had a bid for the Spain midfielder rejected in the summer, with a reported fee of £29million failing to meet Arsene Wenger's valuation.

Barcelona instead signed Argentina's Javier Mascherano from Liverpool, but that has not stopped rumours of a renewed pursuit of Fabregas, who is currently recovering from a hamstring injury.

Fabregas is thought to remain keen to return to the Camp Nou, where he began his youth career, but Guardiola does not want to comment on the speculation.

The Barcelona boss laughed to Sky Sports News when asked about the subject: "It's a good question. Goodbye."

It is understood that Barcelona want Fabregas to add a creative edge to their midfield from a deep-lying position to compliment the more advanced roles of Xavi and Andres Iniesta.

Struggle

Mascherano has failed to make a significant impact in that role since arriving from England as he has been mainly used as a substitute since leaving Anfield.

His new team-mates have also struggled to click into their trademark style so far this season and they sit in fourth position in the league and three points behind leaders Valencia.

But having guided Barcelona to back-to-back titles after succeeding Frank Rijkaard in 2008, Guardiola is confident his team will be competing at the business end of the campaign.

"Barcelona have a good team," he said. "But Barcelona can lose.

"It is OK. We are going to be fighting at the end of the season.

"I think we are playing well and will keep going and at the end we will see who is the best."

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