London: Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas is set to join Barcelona after the Gunners accepted a 36-million-euro offer for the Spanish midfielder, British press reported on Thursday.
Multiple reports said the saga of Fabregas` return to his boyhood club was likely to be settled before the start of this weekend`s Premier League campaign as Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger attempts to draw a line under the affair.
Fabregas`s likely departure ends years of speculation surrounding the 24-year-old World Cup winner, who had made no secret of his desire to one day return to the Nou Camp.
Several outlets reported that Fabregas would forfeit five million euros in compensation he is contractually entitled to because of Arsenal`s decision to sell him to Barcelona.
Barcelona had tabled a bid for Fabregas last summer only to have it rejected by Arsenal, who insisted the player was not for sale.
However Arsenal`s hardline stance did not deter Barcelona, who duly resumed their pursuit of the player this year.
Wenger had initially insisted he expected Fabregas to stay but has become increasingly resigned to losing the player.
However Wenger urged Fabregas to show commitment last month to avoid destabilising Arsenal`s pre-season.
"If Fabregas is committed to this club and wants to stay, no money will get him out of here," Wenger said before the Emirates Cup.
"We are not in a position where we need to sell our players. We are not looking after money.
"He cares about this club and that`s why I hope he can keep him."