Football Football

Fabregas ‘comes home’ to Barcelona


BARCELONA, Spain, August 15 – Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas has completed his move to Barcelona by signing a five-year contract with his boyhood club, the Spanish giants confirmed on Monday.

“Cesc has finally joined FC Barcelona, after signing a contract for the next five seasons. His buyout clause will be 200 million euros,” the club said in a statement on its website.

“I am coming back home after eight years away,” Fabregas, wearing the number 4 shirt, told thousands of fans at the Camp Nou stadium after passing a medical and signing the deal.

Arsenal announced on Sunday that they had finally agreed a deal with Barcelona for the transfer of Fabregas to the Spanish and European champions, where he will link up with the likes of Argentine world player of the year Leo Messi and Spain’s World Cup star Xavi Hernandez.

Barcelona confirmed the deal, news of which was released at half-time in their Spanish Supercup clash against Real Madrid.

Financial details have not been revealed.

But Barca president Sandro Rosell told the Catalan daily Sport that the club would pay “29 (million euros) and we are very happy, because we said that we wouldn’t pay more than 30 and we achieved that.”

The deal, which brings to an end a transfer saga which began last year, takes Fabregas back to the club which he left as a 16-year-old in 2003.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said he was sorry to let the player go.

“We have been clear that we didn’t want Cesc to leave and that remains the case,” said Wenger on Sunday.

“However, we understand Cesc’s desire to move to his home town club and have now accepted an offer from Barcelona. We thank Cesc for his contribution at Arsenal and wish him future success.”

The midfielder spent eight years at Arsenal and made 303 appearances, scoring 57 goals in all competitions.

Named as Arsenal captain in November 2008, Fabregas also became a regular in the Spanish national team and has made 58 appearances to date.

Barcelona defenders Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique had already anticipated the move on Friday when they sent messages on their Twitter accounts welcoming the player before any official announcement.

“Welcome home, happy to have you here @cesc4official,” Puyol tweeted, addressing his message to Cesc’s Twitter account. “@cesc4official, we have got him,” tweeted Pique.

Wenger left the player out of the side which drew 0-0 at Newcastle on Saturday.