Cesc Fabregas has claimed his proposed transfer back to Arsenal hit the buffers when Arsene Wenger conceded he would not be able to fit his former captain in the same team as club record acquisition Mesut Ozil.
Fabregas completed a transfer to Chelsea last week, with the west London club having paid €33 million to sign him. But this deal only became a possibility once Arsenal had passed on the opportunity to purchase the Spain international.
The Arsenal option
Arsenal had an option to buy Fabregas, as was a stipulation of the deal that saw the 27-year-old join Barcelona, with the player himself confirming that the Gunners were the first club to have been offered the chance to recruit him.
Fabregas has since revealed that the reason Arsenal were not willing to pursue a move was because Wenger did not believe he would be able to accommodate the Spanish playmaker in his team, while still getting the best from Ozil, who joined last summer from Real Madrid for €50 million.
“When I decided that my time at Barcelona had ended, I looked for the best option for me,” Fabregas told reporters. “Arsenal was the first option, for contractual reasons. There was a clause that gave them the right to decide.
“We spoke to Wenger and he said that the space was very well filled by Mesut Özil and it was hard to find a place for both of us in the team.”
Fabregas was also reported to have been wanted by Manchester City and Manchester United, but chose a move to Stamford Bridge as he preferred a return to London.
It would appear, meanwhile, that Fabregas will be joined at Chelsea by international colleague Diego Costa after the World Cup, with Jose Mourinho claiming he is ‘extremely confident’ the Atletico Madrid striker will sign for the club.