Cesc decision a big blow for Barca

Barca chased the 23 year-old midfielder all summer and made two

bids to bring the Spain star back to the club where he started his

career, but Arsenal were unwilling to do business and the player

himself released a statement on Friday confirming he will be

staying in north London. “The Cesc issue is over,” Bartomeu told

reporters in Beijing, where Barcelona are currently on a pre-season

tour. “It is a bad piece of news both in a sporting sense and

sentimentally.” And Bartomeu admitted that Arsenal had never been

willing to part with their prized asset. “Arsenal never gave us a

price for Cesc. They declared him non-transferable,” he said. “The

team still has weaknesses, but we’ll now look at home (to the youth

team) first.” Bartomeu also revealed that out-of-favour trio

Aleksander Hleb, Martin Caceres and Victor Sanchez are all set to

leave the club on loan before the transfer window closes. “We are

looking for the best option for the players and for the club,” he

said.