Photo: Cesc Fabregas (Miguel Ruiz - FCB)
FC Barcelona and Chelsea have reached an agreement for the transfer of Spanish international Cesc Fabregas to the London club for a fee of 33 million euros ($44.7 million).
Chelsea also could pay Barça an additional 3 million euros ($4.06 million) if the 27-year-old attacking midfielder plays in a pre-determined number of games over the course of the five-year deal.
In a statement, FC Barcelona thanked Fabregas for his “professionalism and dedication” during his three years with the Spanish club and said Camp Nou will “always be his home.”
Fabregas, whose departure from Barça was widely expected, had wanted the transfer to be finalized prior to Spain’s first match at the World Cup - to be played Friday in the northeastern Brazilian city of Salvador - so he could focus exclusively on soccer’s biggest tournament.
Chelsea’s crosstown rival, Arsenal, reportedly did not use its first option to sign Fabregas, who played for the Gunners for eight years.
“Firstly I would like to thank everyone at FC Barcelona where I enjoyed three wonderful years,” the player said in a statement on his Facebook page.
“I do feel that I have unfinished business in the Premier League and now is the right time for me to return. 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.”
The midfielder was groomed as a player at FC Barcelona’s youth academy before playing eight years with Arsenal. He returned to Barça in 2011 and scored 42 goals in 151 matches.
During Fabregas’ stint at Camp Nou, the club won the Spanish league once and captured five other titles but was unable to win a fifth Champions League crown.