LONDON/RIO DE JANEIRO: Spain midfielder has Cesc Fabregas completed his move to Chelsea from Barcelona, claiming he has “unfinished business” in the Premier League.
Former club Arsenal decided not to exercise their first-option buy-back so Barcelona have cashed in on a £30m fee and Fabregas – remotely since he is at the World Cup in Brazil – approved a five-year deal at Stamford Bridge.
Fabregas came through the ranks at Barcelona before joining Arsenal, where he developed into a first-team regular over an eight-year spell and eventually became captain at the Emirates Stadium.
Having only lifted the FA Cup with the Gunners a move back to Barcelona in 2011 saw Fabregas add several other club honours to the World Cup and two European Championship titles he collected at international level.
Manchester United failed in a bid to sign Fabregas last summer but now he is please to be back in the Premier League with Chelsea and revealed Arsenal had decided against making a move for their former skipper.
Fabregas said: “I do feel that I have unfinished business in the Premier League and now is the right time for me to return.
“Yes, everyone knows that Arsenal had the first option to sign me. They decided not to take this option and therefore it wasn’t meant to be. I wish them well in the future.
“I considered all the other offers very carefully and I firmly believe that Chelsea is the best choice.
“They match my footballing ambitions with their hunger and desire to win trophies. They have an amazing squad of players and an incredible manager. I am fully committed to this team and I can’t wait to start playing.
“It was extremely important to me that this transfer was completed before the World Cup so that my mind will only be focused on hopefully helping my country try to retain the trophy.”
With fellow Spaniards Xavi and Andreas Iniesta for competition, Fabregas broke into the Barcelona side and ended his first season with four winners’ medals before picking up the first league title of his career the following year.
He remained in Spain for a third season despite the interest from Old Trafford but has now made the decision to leave his boyhood club.
The signing will be seen as perfect timing for Chelsea following the end of Frank Lampard’s long affiliation with the club and he becomes the first addition to Jose Mourinho’s squad as the Portuguese looks to improve on last year’s trophyless campaign.
Barcelona also ended last season empty-handed and, with Luis Enrique taking charge at what could be seen as a transitional period at the Nou Camp, Fabregas was allowed the leave and was quick to thank the club.
“Firstly I would like to thank everyone at FC Barcelona where I enjoyed three wonderful years,” he added.
“It was my childhood club and I will always be proud and honoured that I had a chance to play for such a great team.”
Fabregas is likely to be joined in west London by Spain team-mate Diego Costa before the start of the new season as the Athletico Madrid forward has long-been targeted by Mourinho to solve his goalscoring issues.