Arsene Wenger insisted again on Friday that he wants unsettled Arsenal skipper Cesc Fabregas to resist Barcelona's attentions and stay with the club even if the Spaniard will miss the start of the new season.
Barcelona's latest attempt to lure Fabregas to the Nou Camp was rejected on Friday with Sky Sports claiming Arsenal were standing firm on the Â£40 million (45 million euro) price tag they have placed on the midfielder.
European champions Barcelona had already failed with an offer of around Â£30 million (34.4 million euro), and an improved reported bid of 29 million euros plus six million euros in future add-ons has also failed to tempt the Gunners.
Wenger told www.arsenal.com that he had left Fabregas out of the squad to travel to Lisbon for Saturday's friendly against Benfica.
"I don't think Fabregas will be ready to start the season because he has been out for a long time and has had no games," said Wenger of the player's hamstring injury.
"I do not want to speak about the transfer of Fabregas because I have done that three years now in every press conference so I don't think there is any more need to add something.
"I love Fabregas and I want him to stay, that is basically it. Everybody is free to think what they want. We cannot stop people (from) raising questions."