Cesc Fabregas has been telling pals he will only return to the Premier League with Arsenal - even though Manchester United are super-confident of signing him , write David McDonnell in Sydney and John Cross in Nagoya.

Former Gunners captain Fabregas says his first priority is to stay at Barcelona, but his attitude will change if the Catalans accept a bid from United.

Arsenal, as revealed in Mirror Sport two years ago, have a buy-back option on Fabregas and Barcelona must inform them if they accept a bid from another club.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger remains close to Fabregas and Mirror Sport understands that they have been in regular contact.

However, the Premier League Champions insists the player is ready to return to England with them.

They have made a £26 million bid and know they will have to go higher, but new United boss David Moyes is determined to get his man after making central midfield his priority.

Newastle’s Yohan Cabaye and Everton’s Marouane Fellaini are also on his radar and yesterday Moyes said: “When I got the job, I was made aware of what could possibly be done to improve things.

“Signing a midfield player was one area where we thought we could possibly add to the squad.

“It’s hard to get top quality players who can come in and affect your team. That’s why we’re trying to go for what we see as the right players and the best players.