Chelsea allow World Cup winning midfielder leave on free

Chelsea playmaker Cesc Fabregas has joined Ligue 1 club Monaco, managed by Thierry Henry, on a three-and-a-half year deal.

The 31-year-old midfielder captained the FA Cup holders against Nottingham Forest and was in tears as he applauded fans at the final whistle.

The 31-year-old star joined the Blues from Barcelona back in 2014, having played 303 times for rivals Arsenal between 2003 and 2011.

Cesc Fabregas described the move as “a new project”, calling it a “great honour”.

“I’m here to help the team, I’m looking forward to starting. I am very excited,” he added.

Monaco have not paid a fee for the Spain international but will pay ‘bonuses’ to Chelsea linked to the player’s performances.

Former Arsenal skipper won two Premier League titles, two FA Cups and a League Cup in 501 appearances in English football.

In what was the final season of his deal at Stamford Bridge, the World Cup winner had started one Premier League match under new manager Maurizio Sarri.

Writing on social media, Cesc Fabregas later paid tribute to Chelsea and the fans: “It has been an incredible journey, and it is with great sadness that I must say goodbye.”

“I will miss you all and wish you the best of luck for the future.”