Football

Blues are Cesc's first choice

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho maintains it took him only 20 minutes to convince Cesc Fabregas to sign from Barcelona - and reckons the former Arsenal captain never wanted to return to his old club.

Arsenal had first option to bring Fabregas back to the club he left in 2007, which manager Arsene Wenger passed up as he pursued other targets.

Mourinho, though, feels Stamford Bridge was always the midfielder's preferred destination.

"I spoke with him 20 minutes. I think he really wanted to come to us," said Mourinho.

"As you know, Arsenal had an option where they could interfere, but I think he was not open to that. I think he was very, very much in our direction, so it was an easy job for me."

Chelsea have been linked with several other big names this summer, including German World Cup winner Sami Khedira - also a reported target for Arsenal - and Monaco forward Radamel Falcao, who did not play for Colombia in Brazil because of injury.

Besides Fabregas, they have already secured the signatures of striker Diego Costa and defender Filipe Luis from Atletico Madrid, and young midfielder Mario Pasalic from Hajduk Split.

Mourinho, though, indicated the Blues' chequebook was closed.

He said: "I have to say my club did a fantastic job, and not just because of what we bought, but because we did it in almost record time.

"The transfer market closes Aug 31 and we close our market on July 19. We finished the market today.

FANTASTIC

"The club did fantastic.

"We knew the targets, we knew the players and the club attacked them and their clubs at a very early stage.

"We got exactly what we need and what we want. I like the squad very much and I look forward to starting the season.

"I don't think we'll sign any more players. The market is open, but we are so happy with what we have.

"We feel that our squad are what we want.

"We don't want a squad of only end-products. We also want to bring to the first team, three or four Under-21s.

"We are going to develop players and we are happy with this balance we have."

- PA Sport.