Arsene Wenger is hopeful Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas will return to Arsenal one day.
The Spain international made 303 appearances in an eight-year spell at the north London side before moving back to boyhood club Barca in the summer of 2011.
But Wenger says Fabregas “watches every Arsenal game” and, while he accepts his short-team future remains at Camp Nou, is predicting him to make the switch back to the Emirates Stadium before he retires.
The Frenchman told reporters: “Fabregas was an exception, a world-class player.
“I’m not convinced that he will not one day come back here, because he is a real Arsenal man.
“He loves Arsenal, he watches every Arsenal game. But of course, Barcelona was his home town and you had to accept that that would come into it, especially with their club having the best team in the world at that time.
“In the next two to three years certainly not – but maybe later.”
Wenger added that he believes former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola would be the perfect fit for Chelsea if Rafael Benitez’s interim deal is not extended in the summer.
“Guardiola started his career with caviar,” he said. “Would he get caviar at Chelsea? Yes, certainly, so it’s a good ingredient again to do well.
“Pep is a great manager, but at the moment they have Benitez who is a great manager as well.”