sport

Fabregas: I asked for move

New Chelsea signing Cesc Fabregas has insisted he told Barcelona to let him leave, and they even tried to stop him departing.

Fabregas completed a move to Stamford Bridge last week, but he has stressed it was his decision to quit the Camp Nou.

The Spanish ace also says that president Josep Maria Bartomeu tried to prevent him from moving.

"I asked Barcelona to find a way for me to leave the club. The president tried to stop the sale, but I already had my mind made up," he told Cadena Cope.

"At the time, I spoke with [sporting director] Andoni Zubizarreta and the president [Josep Maria Bartomeu] and I told them I wanted to leave.

"Honestly, it all went really smoothly. I'm not leaving for any specific reason, if not for a multitude of different things, my own errors and that's it.

"If I didn't think that I'd be happy at Chelsea, I would've never made this decision. Above all, I want to be happy both professionally and personally.

"[Chelsea have] great players - young and talented - and building a great team with new signings. I have no doubt I'll be happy, I lived in London for eight years, I have friends [and] family there."

Fabregas considers his work at the club, following 57 goals and 42 assists in three seasons, to be positive.

He said: "The statistics are not bad, but I know that in the big games these goals and assists have not emerged.

"I've spent three spectacular years in Barcelona with my friends, it was a blast and have won six titles."

The midfielder also denied that club tried to get Lionel Messi to persuade him to stay and added: "It is not true that (the club) sent Messi. Leo did not ask me to stay. Leo is terrific and told me to be happy wherever I went."