Cesc Fabregas joins Chelsea: Arsenal turned down option to re-sign midfielder

The 27-year-old joins from Barcelona for a reported £26.6m

Chelsea  have completed the signing of Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona, as the midfielder confirmed that Arsenal turned down the chance to take him back.

The 27-year-old, who is away on World Cup duty with Spain, has joined on a five-year contract and will wear the No 4 shirt at Stamford Bridge.

Arsenal had first option after his 2011 move from the Emirates to the Nou Camp but, when he decided to return to the Premier League, his old club were not interested.

Read more: Fabregas statement in full
Arsenal plan £3.5m Vela buy-back
Wenger in Brazil to check on transfer targets
 

“I do feel that I have unfinished business in the Premier League and now is the right time for me to return,” Fabregas said in a slightly provocative statement. “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.”

Fabregas is Chelsea’s first confirmed summer signing but the deal for Diego Costa from Atletico Madrid is as good as done, as Chelsea respond to a trophy-less season.

With Fabregas and Costa joining January signings Nemanja Matic and Mohamed Salah, Chelsea should be even stronger next season.

“I considered all the other offers very carefully and I firmly believe that Chelsea is the best choice,” Fabregas said, after signing the deal. “They match my footballing ambitions with their hunger and desire to win trophies. They have an amazing squad and an incredible manager. I can’t wait to start playing.”

 

Fabregas’s departure marks the end to a slightly disappointing three-year spell at the Nou Camp. Barça was his first club, which he left for Arsenal at the age of 16 and was always keen to return to. He won the Copa del Rey in 2012 and La Liga in 2013 but his time there coincided with a decline from Pep Guardiola’s side which won the 2009 and 2011 Champions Leagues.

Barcelona are close to signing Sevilla’s Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakitic and may pursue Atletico’s Koke.

“I would like to thank everyone at FC Barcelona where I enjoyed three wonderful years,” Fabregas said. “I will always be proud and honoured that I had a chance to play for such a great team.” With Frank Lampard leaving, the 27-year-old is a natural replacement. He has played behind the striker, but may also play deeper in a 4-2-3-1 alongside Matic. Spain centre-back Gerard Pique was overheard last week saying Fabregas’ fee would be €33m (£26.6m).

Suggested Topics
Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm today
News
people
News
Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
News
File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
peopleActor was tweeting in wake of NYPD police shooting
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
SPORTLiverpool vs Arsenal match report: Bandaged Martin Skrtel heads home in the 97th-minute
News
Billie Whitelaw was best known for her close collaboration with playwright Samuel Beckett, here performing in a Beckett Trilogy at The Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
people'Omen' star was best known for stage work with Samuel Beckett
Arts and Entertainment
Mark Wright has won The Apprentice 2014
tvThe Apprentice 2014 final
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Darrell Banks’s ‘Open The Door To Your Heart’
music
News
Detective Tam Bui works for the Toronto Police force
news
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'