Chelsea have completed the £27million capture of Cesc Fabregas, who has revealed Arsenal rejected the opportunity to take him back.
Having grown frustrated with the Gunners inability to challenge for the major honours, Fabregas spent much of the past two years of his stint at the Emirates Stadium pushing for a return to Barcelona. He finally got his dream move during the summer of 2011, when the Catalan giants paid a reported £35million for his signature.
Despite helping Barca win a league title, a Copa del Rey, a UEFA Super Cup, a FIFA Club Cup and two Spanish Super Cups in the three years since, the midfielder has struggled to make the desire impact at the Camp Nou. And with the Blaugranes going through something of a transition period, they made it clear that the 27-year-old was up for grabs.
Manchester United had made their interest in the player public last summer under David Moyes, but it quickly became evident that his successor. Louis van Gaal, was not so keen. Neither were champions Manchester City, or so we are led to believe, but Arsenal had first option to buy him back and this was thought to be the Spaniard’s first choice.
However, having spent a club record £42.5million on Mesut Ozil last year, and with the startling progress of Aaron Ramsey, Arsene Wenger passed on the opportunity to take his former skipper back. This left the door open to their London rivals Chelsea, who were in the market for a new midfielder after deciding not to renew Frank Lampard’s contract.
The Blues have now completed a £27million deal for Fabregas, although this could increase depending on appearances. The Spain international has signed a five-year contract at Stamford Bridge which will earn him a salary in the region of £200,000-per-week, which is believed to be a substantial increase on his Camp Nou wage. Upon signing his deal with the Blues, he confirmed that his former club had rejected the chance to re-sign him.
“I do feel that I have unfinished business in the Premier League and now is the right time for my return,” said Fabregas, who has been given the number 4 shirt vacated by David Luiz. “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 Finals began so that my mind will only be focused on hopefully helping my country try to retain the trophy.”