LONDON (AP) — Spain midfielder Cesc Fabregas is leaving Barcelona to return to London, signing a five-year deal with Chelsea that will put him up against his former club Arsenal.
The 27-year-old Fabregas, who spent eight years at Arsenal before moving to Barcelona, said Thursday that he still has "unfinished business" in the English Premier League.
"Now is the right time to return," he said. "You all know that Arsenal was the first team that had the chance to sign me. They decided not to do so, so fate has not led our paths to cross again."
Fabregas was a key cog of Arsene Wenger's Arsenal side, winning the FA Cup in 2005 and reaching the Champions League final a year later. But now he'll be looking for trophies with bitter rivals Chelsea and manager Jose Mourinho, who has feuded over the years with Wenger.
"I considered all the other offers very carefully and I firmly believe that Chelsea is the best choice," Fabregas said on the club's web site. "They match my footballing ambitions with their hunger and desire to win trophies. They have an incredible squad of players and an extraordinary coach. I am completely committed to the team."
Media reports in Spain and England put the transfer fee at about 26.5 million pounds ($44.67 million).
During his three years at Barcelona, Fabregas won a Spanish league title, as well as the Copa del Rey, the Spanish Super Cup, the UEFA Super Cup and the Club World Cup.