Fabregas completes move from Arsenal to Barcelona

Reuters

Mon, 15 Aug 13:19:00 2011

(Adds quotes)

* Fabregas returns to boyhood club

* Midfielder signs five-year deal

Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas passed his medical and signed a five-year contract with Barcelona on Monday, the European champions said in a statement.

The move completes one of the most protracted transfer sagas of modern times, his boyhood club finally getting their man after chasing him for three years.

The 24-year-old Spanish World Cup winner was presented to around 30,000 Barca fans in the Nou Camp after completing the deal which sees him return to the club he left as a 16-year-old in 2003.

According to media reports Arsenal have received around 40 million euros ($56.86 million) for their captain. Barcelona said on Monday there was a buyout clause of 200 million euros in his new contract.

"I have waited a long time for this moment. It's a very special day," Fabregas told a news conference.

"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."

Fabregas made more than 300 appearances for the Gunners but the only trophy Arsenal won while he was in north London was the FA Cup in 2005.

Barca held arch-rivals Real Madrid to a 2-2 draw at the Bernabeu in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup on Sunday.

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