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Cesc Fabregas signs for Chelsea after leaving Barcelona for second time

updated 12:37 PM EDT, Thu June 12, 2014
Cesc Fabregas spent eight years with Arsenal in between spells at his first club Barcelona.
Cesc Fabregas spent eight years with Arsenal in between spells at his first club Barcelona.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Cesc Fabregas signs five-year contract with Chelsea
  • Spain midfielder moves to London for second time from Barcelona
  • Fabregas, 27, is on World Cup duty with Spain in Brazil
  • He is hoping to win trophies after a barren season in Spain

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(CNN) -- Cesc Fabregas is returning to London and the English Premier League after the Spain international signed for Chelsea from Barcelona Thursday.

The midfielder, who started his career with Barcelona, spent eight years with Chelsea's London rivals Arsenal between 2003 and 2011, before rejoining the Catalan club.

"Firstly I'd like to thank everyone at Barcelona where I enjoyed three wonderful years," said Fabregas, who has joined Chelsea on a five-year contract, in a statement on the club's website.

"It was my childhood club and I'll always be proud and honored that I had a chance to play for such a great team," added the 27-year-old, who is on World Cup duty with Spain in Brazil.

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Chelsea finished third last season, securing the EPL's third European Champions League automatic qualifying spot.

In manager Jose Mourinho's first season back in charge at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea also reached the Champions League semifinals before being knocked out by Atletico Madrid.

Fabregas' arrival gives Mourinho a wealth of midfield talent, given Chelsea's Portuguese manager already has Eden Hazard, Oscar, Ramires, Nemanja Matic and John Obi Mikel at his disposal.

"I do feel that I have unfinished business in the Premier League and now is the right time to return," said Fabregas, who played over 300 games for Arsenal during his first spell in England but won just one trophy -- the FA Cup in 2005.

"I considered all the other offers very carefully and I firmly believe that Chelsea is the best choice. They match my footballing ambitions with their hunger and desire to win trophies.

"They have an amazing squad of players and an incredible manager. I'm fully committed to this team and I can't wait to start playing."

Barcelona, which failed to retain the Spanish title last season, issued a statement thanking Fabregas for his "professionalism and dedication" during his time at the Nou Camp.

The Spanish club will reportedly receive an upfront payment of $45.4 million for Fabregas, though the transfer fee could rise with contractual add-ons.

Chelsea are also reportedly keen to sign another La Liga player -- Atletico Madrid's Spain international striker Diego Costa.

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