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Arsenal did not want to sell Song, says Barcelona vice-president

The La Liga giants have stressed that signing the midfielder was by no means an easy feat, despite the fact that the transfer materialised relatively quickly

Barcelona vice-president Josep Bartomeu has revealed that Alex Song's desire to join the club from Arsenal played a determining role in the Cameroon international being lured away from the Emirates Stadium.

The African midfielder signed a five-year deal with the Catalans on Monday in a €19 million (£15m) deal, but while the supremo was pleased with the speed of the negotiations in the end, he insisted that reaching an agreement with the Gunners was not a simple task.

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"It was not easy to bring Song to Barca," the supremo said at a press conference.

"As happened with Cesc [Fabregas], Arsenal did not want to sell him and were asking a high price, but we are happy with what we paid both for Cesc and Song.

"The negotiations weren’t easy, but the player wanted to come, and that made things easier. It was tough, but it all went much faster than other negotiations have done."

Song, 24, could make his official Barcelona debut in Thursday's Supercopa clash with Real Madrid at Camp Nou.