Finally, finally, finally. After what has seemed like the longest-running saga since the 100 Years War, Arsenal have finally agreed to the sale of Cesc Fabregas, the Spanish international midfielder and club captain, to his boyhood club, the reigning European Cup holders, Barcelona.
The midfielder, who left the Barcelona academy at La Masia as a boy, to join the Gunners in 2003, will return to Camp Nou as a man in a £35m deal, which will put to an end a bitter transfer dispute that has raged between North London and Catalunya for the best part of two years.
Fábregas, who has won 58 caps for Spain, winning Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup in the process, made 303 appearances for Arsenal, scoring 57 goals. He became club captain at the Emirates Stadium in November 2008.
“We have been clear that we didn’t want Cesc to leave and that remains the case” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger told the Gunners official website.
“However, we understand Cesc’s desire to move to his home-town club and have now accepted an offer from Barcelona. We thank Cesc for his contribution at Arsenal and wish him future success.”
Fabregas will undergo a medical at Barcelona hospital at 0700 BST on Monday, before having a further test at Barcelona’s medical centre at 0930 BST.
He is then scheduled to sign his contract at 1130 BST before being unveiled to the media at 1300 BST.