Arsenal have informed Barcelona they will not be exercising a buy-back option on former player Cesc Fabregas.

The Gunners inserted the clause when selling Fabregas to Barcelona for £35m in 2011 and were given first refusal after Barca decided he could leave.

It is understood Fabregas, 27, was keen to return to Arsenal but manager Arsene Wenger is not looking to recruit a creative midfielder.

The decision raises the prospect of the player joining one of Arsenal's rivals.

Mesut Ozil arrived at Arsenal from Real Madrid last summer for a club-record £42.4m on a five-year contract, while the likes of Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Tomas Rosicky are all part of Wenger's plans.