Spain star Cesc Fabregas says the UK’s decision to leave the European Union is a “mistake” and will be “damaging to the Premier League”.
The Chelsea midfielder moved to England as a 16-year-old, when he joined Arsenal from Barcelona, with FIFA permitting 16 to 18-year-olds to move clubs within the 28 countries in the EU.
Should the UK leave the EU, similar moves would no longer be allowed, with the Premier League facing many issues following the result of Thursday’s referendum.
While on Spain duty at Euro 2016, Fabregas said: “It’s a very disappointing decision and I think very negative for many people. Personally, I see it as a mistake. I didn’t expect it, as I went to bed optimistic and woke up to this news.
“I think it’s damaging for the Premier League. It’ll be harder to sign players, the salaries will change if the pound gets close to the euro. It’s a decision that will create many complications not just in football, but the daily lives and future of all people.”
Fabregas will meet incoming Chelsea manager Antonio Conte on Monday when the Italian’s side face Fabregas’s Spain in the last 16 at Euro 2016.
“I met Conte briefly and he made a very good impression,” said Fabregas. “He is a great coach, a winner. He told me what he wants from me, what he wants to do at Chelsea and various other things that will remain private.
“I really want to start working with him. Now I hope he can get to work at Chelsea as soon as possible. Hopefully from Tuesday he can concentrate on his new job!
“I sort of knew about Conte before our meeting. I liked his Juve and, obviously, had followed the victories, but it wasn’t a team I watched every single week. Now I’ve studied them more carefully and I liked what I saw. He did a great job with the national team too, so I am very confident.
“I see he has created a great team unit with Italy. It might be missing your classic individual talents like Alessandro Del Piero or Francesco Totti and lost Claudio Marchisio and Marco Verratti to injury, but it is a very compact group.
“That has always been one of Italy’s strengths and today it is true more than ever. From the outside it seems as if Conte chose a definitive group to go all the way and they are all following him.”