Chelsea transfer news: Cesc Fabregas signs for Monaco on a three-and-a-half year deal
The Spanish midfielder played his final game for Chelsea in their 2-0 FA Cup win against Nottingham Forest and came off to a standing ovation at Stamford Bridge.
“It is a great pleasure to join AS Monaco, [it is] a new project for me,” Fabregas said in a statement after the move was announced. “I’m here to help the team, I’m looking forward to starting. I am very excited.”
In a subsequent message posted on Twitter to Chelsea, Fabregas said:
“It’s with mixed emotions that I am writing this message. To everyone at Chelsea Football Club, the owner Mr Abramovich who brought me here; to my teammates who helped me win so many trophies; to the staff who made my time here so easy and to all you fans who made me feel so special week in week out. It has been an incredible journey and it is with great sadness that I must say goodbye. I will miss you all and wish the best of luck for the future.”
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Fabregas leaves Chelsea as a two-time Premier League champion as well as winning the FA Cup and League Cup during his four-and-a-half years at the club, and made 501 appearances in English football in total.
“We are very pleased to welcome Cesc Fabregas to AS Monaco, a world-class player and a great professional, whose arrival demonstrates the ambition of the club,” said Monaco’s vice-president Vadim Vasilyev.
“We are convinced that his experience at the highest level will bring a lot to our players on and off the field.”
Monaco manager, and one of Fabregas’ former teammates, Thierry Henry said the pair regularly speak to each other. “Since my departure from Arsenal we talk every two or three days with Cesc,” he said. “It has not changed in recent days. He is a player who interests all clubs.”
Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has used the midfielder sparingly and admitted it was time for Fabregas to begin the next stage of his career. “In my opinion, he needs to go,” Sarri said. “You know very well the situation. You know very well in this club there is a rule: the renewal of players over 30 is usually one year.
“He has an offer for two years. I don’t want a very important player as Cesc unhappy.”
Having joined Arsenal as a youth player from Barcelona in 2003, Fabregas spent seven full seasons under Arsene Wenger, during which he was named captain aged 21, before returning to Catalonia.
Fabregas’ dynamic and inventive style of play made him a standout player in England when he first erupted onto the scene, making him one of the most memorable players in recent Premier League history.
He played a role in Spain’s European Championship win in 2008 before being deployed in a false nine position during parts of the 2010 World Cup success that followed.