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Cesc Fabregas has revealed Arsenal turned down the chance to sign him before he joined Chelsea in 2014.
Fabregas spent eight years at Arsenal before he joined Barcelona in 2011 but after three years at the Spanish club, he moved to Chelsea.
Arsenal were one of the clubs linked with Fabregas before he joined Chelsea and the midfielder has now revealed that Arsenal actually had one week to sign him.
Prior to Sunday’s game between both clubs, Cesc spoke glowingly about Arsenal and revealed he is still a big fan of the club. However, he had to join Chelsea after Wenger refused to trigger the first option clause, which Arsenal included in his contract when he was joining Barcelona.
When asked if Arsenal were like an “old girlfriend”, Fabregas told Sky Sports, as quoted by the Express: “I wouldn’t call it that. It’s much more than that, because sometimes an old girlfriend you lose connection with, you don’t feel anything for after years.
“I feel very attached, even now, to Arsenal. My feelings for the club, well I don’t have to repeat myself, every single time we play against them because it’s known.
“Whoever doesn’t believe me, or doesn’t feel it is this way, is not right. I know how I feel, my family does, and that’s all that matters to me.
“Once I made the decision to leave Barcelona, Arsenal had the first option, and Barcelona had the obligation to contact Arsenal first.
Then they had a week to basically respond yes or no to the buy-out clause.
“I knew Chelsea were on the side, among other clubs, but after I spoke to [Jose] Mourinho in the meantime he convinced me that it was a great place to come. The week passed, Arsenal never responded, never contacted me either, so I took it as them having enough players in their squad, so I made my move to Chelsea.
“Because I felt they wanted me the most, Jose spoke to me in a way that not many have spoken to me before, and I knew what he wanted from me. He motivated me so much in that meeting that my choice was very easy.
“I love Arsene, the man. I love him of course as a coach too. This is a decision he made. I always said that he’s like a father to me, and he will always be.”
Many Gooners were irked when Fabregas joined Chelsea and if his claims are true, one can’t really blame him for joining them.
Although he could have chosen to stay away from the Premier League but his desire to continue playing at the top made it difficult for him to snub a return to England.