Spain World Cup 2010 hero Andres Iniesta has voiced his desire for a reunion with Arsenal skipper Cesc Fabregas at Barcelona.
The pair combined late into extra time in Sunday's 1-0 final victory against the Netherlands to hand Spain the trophy when Iniesta fired home from close range. Throughout the summer, Fabregas has been linked with a move to the La Liga champions and a partnership with the goal getter and Xavi.
The Gunners have so far refused to sanction the sale of the star midfielder and firmly rejected a £29 million bid last month. Speaking to the press today, Iniesta hoped there could be a breakthrough in negotiations.
"Let's hope so. Everybody has come out and spoken of the desire we have for him to be with us next season," Iniesta said.
"We would be delighted. Not just because he is a team-mate and a friend, but because it would be great for the club.
"His arrival would give us a huge jump up in quality and he would play his part to help us stay up there competing in the big competitions. We would love him to be here."
Tensions between the sides were heated up during Spain's celebrations in Madrid when duo Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique forced a Barcelona shirt over Fabregas' head. The mild-mannered Iniesta insisted he had nothing to do with the prank, however.
"It wasn't anything to do with me - it was the other two [Puyol and Pique] who carried out the joke," he said.
"He is my team-mate and my friend and I wish him the best, and if he comes, we will all be delighted."
Iniesta also relived the moment when he fired past Maarten Stekelenburg to hand Vicente del Bosque's men Spain's first ever World Cup triumph
"It is one of the most beautiful feelings that a person can experience," he stated.
"I was just waiting for the pass from Cesc, who was looking phenomenal. It came very quickly and I was so alone (in the area) that I thought I was offside.
"But I controlled it well and when I hit it I knew it had to go in because going to penalties would have been terrible."