Chelsea in frame to sign Barca midfielder Fabregas

Arsenal decide against re-signing former player with price tag of €37m

Cesc Fabregas: has endured a tempestuous relationship with Jose Mourinho, with whom he would have to build bridges. Photograph:  David Ramos/Getty Images

Cesc Fabregas: has endured a tempestuous relationship with Jose Mourinho, with whom he would have to build bridges. Photograph: David Ramos/Getty Images

 
Chelsea

abregas back to the Premier League after Arsenal indicated that they would not be taking up their option to re-sign their former captain from Barcelona.

Fabregas has been informed he can leave the Camp Nou this summer after three seasons back at the Catalan club. Barca and their new manager Luis Enrique are seeking to sign the Atlético Madrid midfielder Koke, a move that would limit the 27-year-old’s first-team opportunities. The Spain international is disappointed Arsenal have opted against trying to bring him back, but he is willing to consider other options in England.

Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool, who yesterday signed Rickie Lambert from Southampton for €5 million , have all considered moves for Fabregas in the past but it is understood their priorities lie elsewhere this summer. Chelsea had hoped to secure Koke as they seek a long-term successor for Frank Lampard, who announced yesterday that he is leaving Stamford Bridge, with the new Major League Soccer franchise New York City, among other clubs, hoping to secure his services.

With Koke keener to move to Barcelona, Chelsea have turned their attentions to securing Fabregas for about €37 million. The Spain midfielder, who has 87 caps and two European Championship winner’s medals to add to one for the 2010 World Cup, could operate in a deep-lying role alongside Nemanja Matic and dictate.

The player would, however, have to build bridges with Jose Mourinho, with whom he has endured a tempestuous relationship.

Chelsea had indicated they envisaged a quiet summer in the market, with Atlético forward Diego Costa their priority signing. He is expected to join for €39 million from the La Liga winners but may now be followed by club-mates Tiago Mendes, who played under Mourinho during his first spell at Stamford Bridge, under the Bosman ruling and Filipe Luis for about €22 million. The left-back will serve as a replacement for the departing Ashley Cole. They also hope to add possibly striker Mario Mandzukic of Bayern Munich to the ranks.

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