Cesc Fabregas insists a return to Barcelona is off the cards after a nightmare season with Chelsea.
Fabregas left Arsenal to join Barcelona in 2011, where he spent a trophy-laden three years before returning to the Premier League with Chelsea.
He won the title and the League Cup in his first season at Stamford Bridge, but his second was a tale of woe as Chelsea lost the services of their most successful manager in Jose Mourinho and sit in ninth with one game to play.
And while a return to the Catalan giants – Fabregas’ boyhood club – might seem an attractive one, the Spain international said it was not realistic.
“A return to Barcelona would no longer be possible, even if I wanted to,” Fabregas told Marca.
“The Barcelona stage of my career is over, it is closed.”
On Chelsea’s season, Fabregas suggested poor preparation and a failure from certain players to give Mourinho their best was the reason for their demise.
“It was a very irregular season in which we did not feel comfortable,” the midfielder said.
“However we improved and went 12 league games without losing and proved we were harder to beat.
“In any case it has been a very disappointing season.
“Jose gave us a longer holiday because he knew that it would be very difficult to retain the title.
“We returned from pre-season in the United States two days before the Super Cup [Community Shield], the preparation was not ideal.
“We were not strong enough to follow the demands of the coach, who is a demanding person and someone who wants the best of his players. Maybe we failed to give it.”
But Fabregas insists the future is bright at Chelsea, particularly with former Juventus boss and current Italy coach coming to London next season.
“It excites me a lot, he is a great professional and a great person, he is competitive and a winner,” Fabregas said of Conte.
“He knows what he is doing and has won titles with major clubs.
“I look forward to starting the season with him and I hope to learn a lot.”