Cesc Fabregas has revealed his wish to be reunited with Lionel Messi at Chelsea but believes the Argentinian will retire at Barcelona.
The pair are the closest of friends after spending several years together coming through Barcelona famed youth academy La Masia before Fabregas left to join Arsenal. The midfielder later returned to the Nou Camp to star alongside Messi in Barcelona's first team.
While Messi has gone on to become a legend for the La Liga outfit, Fabregas could not make the desired impact in a three-year spell. Their close association came to a premature end with Fabregas moving back to London, but the 27-year-old is keen to reunited with Messi at Stamford Bridge.
"But, as his teammate and friend, without doubt I'd love to have Leo by my side"
One club man
However, Fabregas also admitted that Messi's achievements with Barcelona make it almost impossible to see him playing anywhere else. Instead, the midfielder believes Messi deserves to retire as a one club man.
When asked if he'd like Jose Mourinho to sign Messi, Fabregas told Marca: I wish! Why not? I'd love that to happen. I'd be all for it. As a Barça man, I believe that Messi deserves to retire at Barça for all that he has given the club.
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"He is a legend that has changed Barça history. But, as his teammate and friend, without doubt I'd love to have Leo by my side. This season Barça are Messi and ten others. Messi has saved his team on many occasions."
Chelsea would have to blow the transfer record out of the water to sign Messi, with his current release clause believed to be around the £250 million mark. While the fans would love to see Messi at the club, Chelsea don't seem in need of the legendary goal scorer.
The Blues are top of the league and have lost only one of their opening 16 Premier League games. A win against Stoke will see them maintain a three-point lead over Manchester City going into Christmas.
"What makes him so great as a coach is that he adapts to any situation"
Fabregas believes Mourinho's ability to adapt the players he has to his own system is the reason for his success.
He said: "Mourinho adapts to the players he has. What makes him so great as a coach is that he adapts to any situation and his teams can play in many different ways. It's a very intelligent way of managing."