Barcelona midfielder Xavi has again weighed into the debate over the future of Arsenal skipper Cesc Fabregas, saying he wants to play alongside his Spain team-mate at club level before he retires.
Xavi angered Gunners manager Arsene Wenger with similar comments recently, when he stated Fabregas was "suffering" because he wanted to join Barcelona.
Arsenal value captain Fabregas at £40 million with Wenger is also keen to keep the midfielder, but Barcelona have not met the asking price. Fabregas departed the Camp Nou as a teenager to join Arsenal, and has been linked with a move back to his former club in each of the past three summers. Xavi believes it is now time for the protracted move to come to a conclusion.
"I hope the saga ends," he told German newspaper Suddeutschzeitung.
Describing Fabregas as "a piece of the puzzle", Xavi sees Fabregas as his natural successor at Barcelona, saying: "Cesc is only 24 and his arrival would ensure the current cycle of Barca continues to work.
"I'm 31 and will retire in two, three or four years. I hope he comes."
However, Arsenal midfielder Denilson - who has joined Sao Paulo on a season-long loan - expects Fabregas to stay.
"I think it's very important because the fans, the staff at Arsenal, everyone loves Cesc and I think he's going to stay," he told Sky Sports News.
On his own future, he added: "I miss London, I miss Arsenal. I lived there for five years, it's a long time for me, but I think next season I'll be back.
"Everyone knows Arsene Wenger is a top man and a top manager. He's not just a coach - he's like a dad. It's brilliant for me and for the players because he's helped the players."