Cesc Fabregas has officially completed his move from Chelsea to AS Monaco.
After four-and-a-half years at Stamford Bridge, the time had come for Fabregas to move on to pastures new and the decision was made not to renew his contract in west London.
Despite remaining one of the most gifted midfielders in the Premier League, the Spaniard hasn't been able to replicate his finest form since 2016 and a divergence made sense for both parties.
Writing on Instagram after the announcement, Fabregas penned: "Wow. I’m honoured to announce that I will be starting an exciting journey with this wonderfully historic Club.
"@asmonaco will be my home for the next 3.5 years and I cannot wait to start this new challenge."
Fabregas leaves for Monaco
It sees the Spaniard play for yet another top European club, even if their current form wouldn't suggest so, after spells with Arsenal and Barcelona throughout his career.
And while it seems a simple solution for Fabregas, it's not so clearcut when it comes to Chelsea and everything points towards them signing another midfielder to fill the gap.
However, it's not an approach that will agree with all supporters given the competitively amongst Ross Barkley, Mateo Kovacic and Ruben Loftus-Cheek already this season.
Chelsea's replacement plans
Regardless, though, two replacement targets have already been doing the rounds in the media and it seems Chelsea have their heart set on either Leandro Paredes or Nicolo Barella.
They're not only linked but, according to the Telegraph, the Blues have actually agreed deals with both players and are now simply plotting their final decision.
Intriguing stuff and it begs the question: what happens now that Fabregas has actually left?
Well, the fallout has been surprisingly muted, aside from a tweet by Evening Standard journalist Simon Johnson who shed new light on Chelsea's replacement plans.
It seems they have a favourite - check out the post below:
Food for thought.
It would appear that Chelsea are favouring a move for the more experienced Paredes, a decision that will be encouraged by the majority of supporters.
The Blues will have been fully aware of the developments surrounding Fabregas, so the fact they were closer to Paredes on Thursday proves a major indication.
Interestingly, though, Johnson was unable to provide the very latest intel and it's possible that a more serious approach has since been made for Barella.
Quite how likely that is when Chelsea were formerly pressing harder for Paredes, though, is unknown but it appears an announcement could be made in the coming days.
Chelsea have already been the busiest of the top clubs in the current transfer window and fans shouldn't have long to wait for their latest piece of news.
As things stand, all indications point towards Paredes.
Who do you think Chelsea should replace Fabregas with? Have your say in the comments section below.News Now - Sport News