Belfast Telegraph

Fabregas: I'm committed to Chelsea

Spain midfielder Cesc Fabregas is fully committed to the "important project" at Chelsea, but maintains he will always hold Arsenal close to his heart.

The former Gunners captain feels comfortable working under Blues boss Jose Mourinho, with Arsenal having decided against taking up an option to bring him back from Barcelona to the Emirates Stadium.

Fabregas, 27, joined the Gunners from his boy-hood club as a raw teenager and developed into one of the most dynamic midfielders in the game, before returning to the Nou Camp in August 2011.

He won the Primera Division, a Copa del Ray and the FIFA Club World Cup during his three-year spell back in Spain, before sealing a return to the Premier League with Chelsea this summer.

In an interview with Spanish newspaper El Pais, Fabregas explained his feelings for Arsenal will not be diminished by whatever he may go on to achieve across London with Chelsea.

"Don't think I didn't think about it (playing for Arsenal's rivals when I decided to join Chelsea). I will keep the Gunner feeling forever and I know that I will return to Highbury (Emirates Stadium) and (it) will be a special moment, but I am a committed guy," Fabregas said.

"I remind you that I played the Champions League final against Barcelona (with Arsenal) and I swear I would have done anything to win that game - and I have been a Barcelona fan since I was a kid.

"So I know that when I play against Arsenal I will know who is my (current) team, who are my colleagues and who I defend. And I know that the Arsenal fans will understand me, I have no doubt."

Mourinho felt Fabregas needed little convincing to join him at Chelsea, sealing a £28million move just before the World Cup.

Fabregas added: "If you'd told me five years ago that I would play for Chelsea and Mourinho I would not have believed you, but life changes.

"I started to think about leaving Barcelona after the Copa del Rey final. It was when I started to think that it had finished, that there was a change or that I didn't want to continue.

"I spoke with my agent and asked him to find me a new team, and an offer from Chelsea arrived. For me it was coming back to London, where I grew (up). There was no better way out.

"I spoke with Mourinho and he told me the things I needed to hear. I felt valued. I felt I was going to be important in an important project."

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