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Fabregas committed to Barcelona; Shakhtar sign Bernard

FC Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas has ruled out the possibility of joining Manchester United this summer.

FC Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas has ruled out the possibility of joining Manchester United this summer after insisting he is “very happy” with life in Catalonia, according to Sky Sports.

Fabregas, 26, returned to Barcelona in the summer of 2011 after eight seasons at Arsenal.

Since arriving at the Camp Nou, the Spain international — who tallied 14 goals and 11 assists in 48 appearances in all competitions for Barcelona last term — has found it difficult to maintain a regular starting place in the Blaugrana’s first-team, and understandably so.

The departure of Thiago Alcântara and the fact that Xavi Hernández is not getting any younger seem to suggest that Fabregas’ opportunity to shine at Barça is now, or in the very near future.

Thus, it would have made little to no sense for Fabregas to leave his boyhood club in favour of joining Manchester United, whose primary need is surely in defensive midfield, this summer.

“It has always been my dream to play for Barcelona and that has not changed. I am very happy with life at the club,” revealed Fabregas at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur.

“I am always relaxed and I have never thought about leaving Barca. I never had any doubts about my future here. It cost me a lot to return to Barca and all I want now is to be successful here.

“I did not have to clear up anything because in my head I was only going to stay at Barca.

“I have not spoken with any other club for two summers now and neither is it true that I have asked for a new contract.”

With Paulinho and Victor Wanyama off the market, and Etienne Capoue set to join the former at White Hart Lane, United are still left with a number of viable options in Geoffrey Kondogbia, Ilkay Gundogan and Marouane Fellaini.

Shakhtar sign Bernard

Ukrainian Premier League giants FC Shakhtar Donetsk have completed the signing of Brazil international midfielder Bernard from Atlético Mineiro for €25 million, according to club’s official website, shakhtar.com.

Bernard, 20, has put pen to paper on a five-year deal at the Donbass Arena despite reported interest from Arsenal and F.C. Porto.

The Brazil international will help fill the void left by Willian and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, with the former having moved to Anzhi Makhachkala in January and the latter to Borussia Dortmund this summer.

Bernard is the second Brazil international to join Shakhtar this summer, following in the footsteps of Grêmio defensive midfielder Fernando Lucas Martins.

Over the past three seasons, the 20-year-old ace has netted 22 goals in 100 senior appearances for the Copa Libertadores winners.

Thu 8 August, 2013
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