Cesc Fabregas has officially joined Chelsea, with bad knock-on effects for Napoli’s Javier Mascherano bid.
This afternoon Chelsea and Fabregas announced a deal had been done with a five-year contract, reportedly for €33m and €3m in add-ons.
However, his departure means Mascherano is likely to be returned to his favoured midfield role as a replacement for Fabregas at Barcelona.
Recently Mascherano had been used in the defence, a position he did not enjoy, so reuniting with Rafa Benitez at Napoli in his preferred slot would have been a huge incentive.
“Firstly I would like to thank everyone at FC Barcelona where I enjoyed 3 wonderful years,” wrote Fabregas in a statement.
“It was my childhood club and I will always be proud and honoured that I had a chance to play for such a great team.
“I do feel that I have unfinished business in the Premier League and now is the right time for me to return. Yes, everyone knows that Arsenal had the first option to sign me. They decided not to take this option and therefore it wasn't meant to be. I wish them well in the future.
“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.
“They have an amazing squad of players and an incredible manager. I am fully committed to this team and I can't wait to start playing.”