FC Barcelona's long pursuit of Cesc Fàbregas is over after the Spanish international midfielder signed a five-year contract with the European champions.
Fàbregas, 24 – a product of Barcelona's La Masia academy – has returned to Camp Nou for a fee that could reportedly rise to €39m, having passed a medical on Monday. The transfer brings an end to eight years at Arsenal FC for Fàbregas, who will be reunited with the likes of Lionel Messi and Gerard Piqué in Catalonia having played alongside them at youth level.
"I've waited a long time for this moment to arrive," said Fàbregas. "It's a very special day for me. I know a lot of you [supporters] were disappointed when I left but I'm back to face a big challenge, perhaps the biggest of my life. After eight years away I hope to have many good memories here.
"I don't want to disappoint anyone and I will give my all to try to help the club improve. I know I am coming here to compete with the best and I am eager to get out there and start training as soon as possible."
Arsenal's captain since 2008, Fàbregas scored 35 goals in 212 Premier League games for the Gunners since arriving in England aged 16. The Arenys de Mar-born player has made 58 appearances for Spain, including the UEFA EURO 2008 and 2010 FIFA World Cup finals.
Barcelona, who beat Manchester United FC in last term's UEFA Champions League final, begin their title defence in the group stage. Arsenal start their campaign against Udinese Calcio in the play-offs on Tuesday.
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