Chelsea have won the race for the signature of Spain and Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas, who joins Jose Mourinho’s men for £27million and on a five-year contract.
Former club Arsenal, Manchester United and Manchester City had all been linked with the 21-year-old, but what was most surprising was the lack of interest from clubs in Serie A.
Despite experiencing a turbulent three years back at the Nou Camp, Fabregas remains a splendid player capable of improving any side and is still one of the best players in his position in world football.
His signing has undoubtedly strengthened Chelsea and could prove the difference in the race for the Premier League title next term, with Spain team-mate Diego Costa expected to join as well.
Serie A champions Juventus may already boast a plethora of midfield talent, but if there is substance to the speculation over the futures of Paul Pogba and Arturo Vidal then they may just have missed a trick by not entering the race for Fabregas.
Both men have been linked with moves to Manchester United and Real Madrid respectively, with the lure of either said to be giving manager Antonio Conte an unwanted dilemma as he begins preparations for the challenge of winning a fourth consecutive Scudetto next term.
For much of the season Roma kept hot on the heels of Juventus after winning their first 10 matches in a row, and had they added the Spanish midfielder to their ranks it would have been a bold statement of intent and sign that perhaps the tide of Italian football can turn after all.
Fiorentina also enjoyed a fine season and have already shown ambition in the transfer market by swooping for Mario Gomez and Giuseppe Rossi last summer.
They slightly tarnished their reputation by taking Brazilian midfielder Anderson on loan from Manchester United, but expressing an interest in Fabregas would have been yet another indication of the club’s financial muscle and aspirations to compete at the highest level.
Both Milan clubs are in drastic need of a summer rebuild and luring Fabregas to the San Siro for one of them would have surely been a shrewd piece of business.
AC Milan have never quite recovered from the loss of influential playmaker Andrea Pirlo, who left in 2011 after being dismissed as a faded force by the club's hierarchy.
Inter have lost powerful stalwart Estaban Cambiasso yet placed their faith in other targets such as Blackpool’s Thomas Ince instead.
Fabregas would have thrived in Serie A, and would have been one of the biggest names in the league. Now, the world will have to wait and see how he fares under Mourinho’s stewardship at Chelsea.
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