Welcome Home, Cesc

The Evening Standard (London, England), August 15, 2011 | Go to article overview

Welcome Home, Cesc


Byline: James Olley Chief Football Correspondent

CESC FABREGAS today completed his [pounds sterling]35million move to Barcelona after arriving in Spain to undergo a medical before signing a five-year contract with the European champions.

The 24-year-old landed in Catalonia last night while Barca were playing out a 2-2 draw with Real Madrid in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup.

Fabregas passed a two-stage medical this morning, firstly at a local hospital before travelling to the Nou Camp for the second part ahead of a photocall and press conference.

The former Arsenal captain was due to be presented to thousands of fans who flooded into the stadium, with today a national holiday in Spain, to see him parade his new No4 shirt.

Barcelona president Sandro Rosell tweeted this morning: "Welcome to Barcelona. We're very happy that you have returned home."

Fabregas's new contract is thought to contain a minimum fee release clause of around [pounds sterling]130m and he has agreed a pay-cut to [pounds sterling]100,000-a-week to help end one of the most protracted transfer sagas in English football.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger expressed disappointment at Fabregas's departure. "We have been clear that we didn't want Cesc to leave and that remains the case. However, we understand Cesc's desire to move to his hometown club."

Barcelona were claiming they have agreed two payments of [pounds sterling]12.7m ([euro]14.5m), one to be paid immediately and the second in October, with a further [pounds sterling]10m in potential add-ons including [pounds sterling]876,000 ([euro]1m) at the end of each year of his contract until 2016.

Arsenal will also receive another [pounds sterling]5.3m ([euro]6m) should Barcelona win two La Ligas and one Champions League in the next five years with Fabregas playing at least 60 per cent of matches. …

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