Chelsea's Cesc Fabregas: I still miss Barcelona; nearly joined Real Madrid

Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas has said that although his most recent departure from Barcelona was inevitable, he misses playing for the Catalan giants.

Fabregas, a Barcelona product, also said he had held talks about joining Barca's great rivals Real Madrid in the past.

The Spain international moved to Chelsea from Barca in summer 2014.

He had previously spent eight years at Arsenal, joining them from Barcelona's academy before returning to the Camp Nou in 2011.

"Clearly, I miss Barcelona. I spent much of my life there, I even went back to play for three years, but London is a city that has treated me very well," he told Marca.

"Did Barca treat me well? It depends how you look at it, but I think so, yes. In the end it was no longer good, most of the fans weren't happy.

"I noticed it and had to step aside. The club went on their path and I went on another."

In his first season at Chelsea, Fabregas shone as he helped the club win the Premier League and the Capital One Cup.

Life in the second season has been more difficult, but the 28-year-old says he and his teammates have to be strong throughout the campaign.

"It was a very good year [last season]. It was excellent, with the exception of the Champions League. We didn't lose a game in the competition [but went out] and ... we won the Premier League and the League Cup," he said.

"This campaign is much harder. We're doing things better, but we're not having any luck. We have to start winning immediately.

"I get on well with Jose Mourinho, very well. We have to be strong and united with the coach and the fans. We can only move forward that way. No one else will help us."

Speaking ahead of Barcelona and Real Madrid's Clasico clash at the weekend, Fabregas said he had nearly joined Real, but the final details did not fall into place.

"There were contacts over several years and with different presidents. No deal was ever closed," he said.

"There were talks, but no final agreement. The decisive step was missing."