Cesc Fabregas has today opened up on how his controversial move from Barcelona to Chelsea came about, admitting that, had things gone his way, he would actually have secured a return to Arsenal.
Fabregas’ time in England
Spanish midfielder Fabregas is currently plying his trade in Ligue 1, with Monaco.
However, when the 32-year-old’s fabled career eventually comes to a close, he will be widely remembered for his stellar exploits whilst lighting up the Premier League.
Fabregas spent a pair of stints in England, the first of which saw the gifted creator establish himself as a cult hero at Arsenal.
The World Cup winner made the move to north London as a raw teen in 2003, before going on to rack up over 300 appearances in the colours of the Gunners.
However, after solidifying himself as one of European football’s finest midfielders, Fabregas’ former club, Barcelona, soon came calling.
This eventually resulted in the Spaniard returning to the Camp Nou in 2011.
The Blaugrana faithful, though, soon grew weary of Fabregas’ displays, and did little to keep their frustrations under wraps.
This saw the Barca youth product afforded a move back to England in 2014, when Chelsea beat off all competition to clinch a deal for the midfielder.
And Fabregas subsequently went on to achieve what he never could with Arsenal whilst on the books of the Blues: Clinch the Premier League title (twice).
‘I’m going to Arsenal’
Fabregas’ success whilst at Stamford Bridge aside, the now-32-year-old’s initial decision to join Chelsea resulted in an inevitable backlash from large sections of Arsenal’s fans.
The Gunners faithful were left feeling betrayed by the actions of their former icon, with a move to not only another English club, but a direct London rival, having felt like a slap in the face.
Some, meanwhile, remain resentful of Fabregas to this day, with the Spanish international representing something of a polarizing figure at the Emirates.
As outlined above, however, had Fabregas himself had his way, he would actually not have joined Chelsea, but rather secured a return to Arsenal.
Speaking in an interview with Arsecast earlier today, the midfield maestro revealed that the Gunners actually held first option on his signature upon Barcelona coming to the decision to sell.
However, despite his own desires, Arsene Wenger opted against swooping for his former star, a decision which opened the door for Jose Mourinho and Chelsea to step in:
‘Once I decided to leave (Barcelona), Arsenal had the first option of any other club and I could not speak to any other club for one week to see if Arsenal want me or not.’
‘Arsene didn’t give an answer, we just had to wait one full week to see if they responded. Definitely this was my first option, in my mind I’m telling everyone I’m going to Arsenal – this is what I want.’
‘Arsene can see this. I didn’t want to be a beggar, they know the situation, in one week they haven’t said anything, straight away I knew they probably didn’t want me back. They waited the full week without giving me a response.’
‘After the week I had to take my chance, I had Manchester City, United and then I spoke to [Jose] Mourinho – which I didn’t think would ever happen.’
‘To be honest, after I left the room with Mourinho I said ‘that’s it, I don’t need to talk to anyone else, I’m going to Chelsea’.’
‘What he told me, the team he wanted to make, what he thought of me, how he wanted me to play, this is what I wanted.’
‘On top of that, it’s London, not Manchester, London was my home.’