FC Barcelona has announced on its website that it has sold Cesc Fabregas to Chelsea. The Barca statement read:
FC Barcelona and Chelsea FC have reached an agreement for the transfer of player Cesc Fàbregas to the English club. FC Barcelona wishes to publicly thank Cesc Fàbregas for his professionalism and dedication during his years at the Club, which will always be his home, and to wish him all the very best for the future.
The deal is reported to be for €33m and €3m in add-ons. Fabregas issued his own statement saying:
“Firstly I would like to thank everyone at FC Barcelona where I enjoyed 3 wonderful years,” wrote Fabregas in a statement.
“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.
“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.”
This is a great deal for Chelsea. Fabregas is a perfect replacement for Frank Lampard, and with Diego Costa heading to Stamford Bridge also, Jose Mourinho’s side has to be the early favorite to win the Premier League title next season.
But the move also asks questions of Chelsea’s title rivals. Arsenal had first right of refusal on Fabregas but passed. Why? Arsenal’s title chance ended last year when they could not overcome the injuries to their midfield. Surely adding their former captain would have made Arsenal stronger? How will the Arsenal fans feel about seeing their former captain wearing a Chelsea shirt next season?
Manchester United have tried for the last year to sign Fabregas but were unable to convince him to move to Old Trafford. Why? Is that another example of Ed Woodward being unable to close to deal? You get the feeling that if Fergie and David Gill were still in charge at Old Trafford that Fabregas would be wearing a United shirt next season, not a blue one. Woodward has been a disaster in the transfer market for United and if he is unable to land top players like Fabregas, what does that say about United challenging for the title next season?
What do you think of Fabregas moving to Chelsea?