By Chelsea correspondent Tony Hughes
Cesc Fabregas has insisted he had an “exceptionally good relationship” with Jose Mourinho after the BBC apologised for comments made by pundit Pat Nevin.
Ex-Chelsea winger Nevin appeared to suggest the Spaniard was the player who said he would “rather lose than win” for Mourinho, while speaking on Radio 4’s Today programme.
Presenter Garry Richardson, who stated last month that a senior player didn’t care about results under Mourinho, brought the topic back up to which Nevin replied: “Yeah, that was Cesc Fabregas wasn’t it?”
It had been reported that Fabregas, who was jeered by Chelsea fans during the team’s 3-1 win over Sunderland last Saturday, was taking legal action against the Scot in the aftermath of the comments.
Nevin himself and the BBC have since apologised, and Fabregas posted on Instagram on Wednesday afternoon to draw a line under the issue and say he was always committed to Mourinho.
His statement read: “I’m pleased that Pat Nevin and the BBC have now apologised and corrected their comments. I can reiterate that I had an exceptionally good relationship with Jose Mourinho as I will aim to have with any coach that I play for.
“The football club is more important than any one player. We have all let the manager and club down this year as a collective unit. We will get this right of that I am sure. With all your help we can put this period behind us and make @chelsea great again.”
Fabregas’ post comes a day after Nevin, 52, used his column on the Chelsea website to publicly apologise to the midfielder.
He wrote: “At the risk of being self-indulgent I would like to clarify a story that emerged, not for my sake but for Cesc Fabregas who was unfairly targeted.
“During an interview with BBC Radio 4’s Today programme I asked, in passing while talking about some other recent happenings at the club, if the player who said the phrase six weeks ago: ‘I would rather lose than play for Jose,’ had been outed in the press as Cesc?
“I absolutely wasn’t having a go at Cesc, but asking the question, as the reporter I was talking to was the one who originally broke that story.
“Basically I thought that this had been the press line in the following days back then. He replied, ‘No comment’. Even the newspaper put a question mark at the end of my sentence!
“Cesc denied it all at the time of course (honestly as it turns out!) and odd though it may sound I couldn’t have cared less anyway.
“The reason I wasn’t that bothered was because the BBC reporter (a man I like and admire I may add) had made it perfectly clear that it was something said in the heat of the moment, in a fit of anger and it certainly did not mean that player wasn’t going to try for the team really.
“I did not mean to have a go at Cesc in any way at all; I was merely asking a question.”