Fabregas moves to Barcelona

Spaniard signs five-year contract

The deal ended one of the most protracted transfer sagas of modern times, Fabregas's boyhood club finally getting their man after chasing him for three years. The Spanish World Cup winner passed his medical and was presented to around 30,000 Barca fans in the Nou Camp as he returned to the club he left as a 16-year-old in 2003.

"I have waited a long time for this moment. It's a very special day," Fabregas told the supporters after signing a five-year contract. "I know that many of you were disappointed when I left but I am here to take up the greatest challenge of my life. After eight years away I hope to leave you all with many great memories."

Vice-president Josep Maria Bartomeu said Barca paid 29 million euros ($41.22 million) for the 24-year-old and that five million more would be payable if the side won two La Liga titles and one Champions League with him in the squad.

A further one million euros would be paid to Arsenal each year out of the player's wages.
Fabregas thanked his new coach Pep Guardiola and his former boss Arsene Wenger. "I want to thank Pep Guardiola for the effort he made and the confidence he gave me," Fabregas told reporters. "I am prepared for the move now.

"I wasn't ready two or three years ago. I had various options but I chose the most difficult path. I knew I wanted to be with the best in the world.

"Wenger is a special person. He will always be like a second father because he has given me everything in football," added Fabregas.  "They have a bad image of him here but if I am here it is due in large part to him. I will always have him in my head and my heart."

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