Cesc Fabregas explains why he didn't rejoin Arsenal from Barcelona in 2014

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Facing Arsenal is always a special occasion for Cesc Fabregas.

The Spaniard made over 300 appearances across all competitions for the Gunners between 2003-2011 before he took the decision to return to his original club, Barcelona.

It's a choice Arsenal fans have struggled to forgive him for ever since.

And Fabregas didn't exactly help his popularity within north London when, in 2014, he opted to move back to the Premier League but instead of joining Arsenal, he chose to sign for rivals Chelsea instead.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger had the first option to buy the central midfielder back from the Camp Nou once it had been decided he would be on the move again.

However, in an interview with Sky Sports ahead of Arsenal's trip to Stamford Bridge on Sunday, Fabregas has revealed the circumstances behind the deal to take him to Chelsea three years ago.

Simply put, neither Arsenal or Wenger made any contact with him once they had been notified of his availability.

"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," Fabregas said.

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"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.

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"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."

Two league titles in three years would appear to vindicate the 30-year-old's decision.

Fabregas' latest quotes are unlikely to make Arsenal supporters feel any happier with an already under pressure Arsene Wenger, though.


Two wins and two defeats from the Gunners' first four league matches this season has seen the feeling of discontent towards the manager re-emerge within the club's fan base.

But the French boss will know a win over Antonio Conte's defending champions today will go some way to appeasing the critics, for another week at least.

Francesc Fabregas
Arsene Wenger

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