ARSENAL manager Arsene Wenger could force Barcelona’s hand by fielding a fit-again Cesc Fabregas in tomorrow’s friendly against Benfica and upcoming Champions League qualifier.
The two clubs are still to agree a fee for the player, who until yesterday hadn’t featured in his side’s pre-season programme due to a hamstring injury.
But the Spaniard took a full part in yesterday’s open training session in front of the club’s members at Emirates Stadium, suggesting a return to first team action is imminent.
Barcelona may finally be forced to table a suitable bid should Wenger declare his intention to select Fabregas in a Champions League qualifier, the draw for which takes places today, as the player would be cup tied should the Gunners reach the lucrative group stages.
Fabregas was joined by contract rebel Samir Nasri yesterday, whose future is still far from clear with Manchester City still keen on the Frenchman who has one year remaining on his current deal.
Theo Walcott, meanwhile, who was sent home from a training camp in Germany last week with an ankle injury that was described as requiring “further investigation” by Wenger, now looks likely to be ready for the start of the domestic season next Saturday at Newcastle.