Cesc Fabregas cannot wait to get stuck into the challenge of a Ligue 1 relegation battle after completing his £10million move from Chelsea to Monaco on Friday.
The 32-year-old has signed a three-and-a-half year contract to reunite with his former Arsenal team-mate Thierry Henry after bringing an end to his glittering Stamford Bridge career.
He will move to a club which for all its big names and stated ambitions currently finds itself second from bottom of the French league table and in serious danger of sliding out of the top flight.
Fabregas tweeted: “Wow. I’m honoured to announce that I will be starting an exciting journey with this wonderfully historic Club. @as_monaco will be my home for the next 3.5 years and I cannot wait to start this new challenge.”
Fabregas, who had found his first team chances increasingly scarce under Maurizio Sarri, bade a final emotional farewell to the Chelsea fans after his side’s FA Cup clash with Nottingham Forest last week.
Fabregas was handed a rare start and made captain for the day, and when he was substituted towards the end of the game it was clear his time in west London was over.
In a lengthy statement on their website, Chelsea paid tribute to Fabregas, who won two Premier League titles as well as both FA Cup and League Cup winners’ medals during his time with the club.
“There is no doubt Fabregas’s place in the Chelsea history books is assured given his achievements over the past four-and-a-half seasons,” Chelsea’s statement said.
“Big goals and outstanding moments of quality, all backed up by the ultimate aim, which is to be part of a successful, trophy-winning team.”
Monaco, who have also been strongly linked to another Chelsea player, Michy Batshuayi, expressed their delight at the signing of Fabregas which they hope will belatedly kick-start their campaign.
Vice-president Vadim Vasilyev told his club’s official website: “We are very pleased to welcome to AS Monaco Cesc Fabregas, a world-class player and a great professional, whose arrival demonstrates the ambition of the club.
“This is obviously a very good technical reinforcement for the team but we are convinced that his experience at the highest level will bring a lot to our players on and off the field.”
Maurizio Sarri, meanwhile, has confirmed the Blues will sign a replacement for the departed midfielder.
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