Fabregas joins Chelsea from Barcelona

Cesc Fabregas has left Barcelona to return to the Premier League with Chelsea, BBC Sport has confirmed.

The former Arsenal captain has signed a five-year contract at Stamford Bridge after the Gunners declined to exercise their first option on the 27-year-old, a clause included in the deal that took Fabregas to Barca from the Emirates Stadium in 2011.

Fabregas hinted that he could have moved elsewhere but felt playing under Jose Mourinho was an opportunity he had to take. “I considered all the other offers very carefully and I firmly believe that Chelsea is the best choice,” he said.

“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,” Fabregas continued. “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.”

Fabregas made 305 appearances for Arsenal, scoring 50 goals, having moved to the London club from Barca as a teenager. He played 129 times for the Catalans, scoring 35 goals, and won the Spanish title in 2013. Fabregas is also part of the Spain squad for the World Cup, with the holders’ first game to come against the Netherlands on Friday.

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