Cesc Fabregas to Chelsea? Frank Lampard's exit leaves Blues looking to Spain midfielder

Midfielder confirmed on Monday that he has played his last game for Chelsea

Chelsea, after confirming the exit of Frank Lampard yesterday, have been linked with an audacious move to bring Cesc Fabregas back to the Premier League.

Fabregas, who rejoined Barcelona from Arsenal for £35m three years ago, is surplus to requirements at the Nou Camp, with his position set to be further undermined if Barça are successful in signing Atletico Madrid’s Koke.

Arsenal have first refusal on any sale of the Spain midfielder but are understood to be looking elsewhere in the summer transfer market. Chelsea are also in the running for Koke as a replacement for Lampard, who announced yesterday that he would not be renewing his contract at the Stamford Bridge at the end of the month. That has led manager Jose Mourinho to firm up his interest in Fabregas.

Manchester City and Manchester United have both been linked with the 27-year-old in the past but both have different priorities, with new United manager Louis van Gaal not interested in Fabregas, unlike his predecessor David Moyes, who tried strenuously to bring him to Old Trafford last summer.

 

Chelsea’s main target remains Atletico’s Diego Costa but Fabregas would fit into the new side Mourinho is building – provided both parties can patch up their rather acrimonious relationship stemming from when the Spaniard was at Arsenal.

Meanwhile, Lampard has confirmed he will seek a new challenge after returning from the World Cup in Brazil after bringing an end to his 13-year association with Chelsea.

The 35-year-old issued a statement in which he revealed he has played his last game for the club. Lampard has already been linked with a move to New York City FC but his England team-mates are convinced he still has a future at the highest level.

Lampard gave no immediate indication as to what the future might hold, instead choosing to thank those who helped him make such a success of his Stamford Bridge career.

Lampard said: “When I arrived at this fantastic club 13 years ago I would never have believed that I would be fortunate enough to play so many games and enjoy sharing in so much success.

“This club has become part of my life and I have so many people to thank for the opportunity. Firstly, Ken Bates, who put his neck on the line to sign me as a young player and without him I would not have even begun this experience.

“Roman Abramovich, the man who saved our club and took us all to new levels. His desire to push the club to the top of the football world has rubbed off on everyone.

“All the managers and coaches who have helped me develop my game during the time I have been here. I have learnt from every one of them. All the brilliant team-mates who I have been lucky enough to train and play alongside for so long. Not just their football qualities but also the friendships I have gained along the way.

“I’d also like to give a special mention to all the staff and people behind the scenes at the club who do not receive the glory but without them the club would simply not function. The club will move forward, and as a Chelsea man I have no doubt that, with the quality of the players that are there, they will continue with the success we have all enjoyed over the past seasons.”

Lampard joined Chelsea in 2001 after six seasons at Upton Park and went on to make 648 appearances and become the club’s all-time top goalscorer with 211 in all competitions.

During his time at Stamford Bridge, Lampard won the Champions League, the Europa League, three Premier League titles, four FA Cups and two League Cups.

The England international formed a vital part of the spine of the team built by Mourinho alongside the likes of John Terry, Petr Cech and Didier Drogba.

The latter left in 2012 and, while Terry has signed a new deal, Cech’s place is likely to come under threat from the Thibaut Courtois. Left-back Ashley Cole left the club after his contract ran out.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Nick Clegg on the campaign trail in Glasgow on Wednesday; he says education is his top priority
peopleNick Clegg remains optimistic despite dismal Lib Dem poll ratings
Arts and Entertainment
Buttoned up: Ryan Reynolds with Helen Mirren in ‘Woman in Gold’
filmFor every box-office smash in his Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. Now he says it's time for a reboot
News
people
News
Actress Julianne Moore wins the Best Actress in a Leading Role Award for 'Still Alice' during the 87th Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood, California
people
Sport
Ross Barkley
footballPaul Scholes says it's time for the Everton playmaker to step up and seize the England No 10 shirt
News
'We will fix it': mice in the 1970s children’s programme Bagpuss
science
Life and Style
2 Karl Lagerfeld and Choupette
fashion
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?