Ex-Arsenal and Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas has opened up on his relationship with Arsene Wenger and his surprise at being snubbed by the Gunners after returning to England from Barcelona.
The Spaniard, 32, joined the Gunners from boyhood club Barcelona in 2003 at the age of 17.
Despite his youth, it took just one year for Fabregas to establish himself as a regular starter in Wenger’s midfield, where he lifted silverware with the club after defeating Man Utd on penalties in the 2005 FA Cup final.
The midfield maestro, who recently revealed how losing a bet caused him to buy a current Chelsea star a new car, yearned for a return to Barcelona in 2010. However, he was denied the opportunity by his manager who delayed the eventual transfer for another 12 months.
After a successful but brief three year spell in Catalonia, Fabregas appeared set for an emotional return to the Emirates in 2014, but was surprisingly rejected by Wenger, leading to a switch to London rivals Chelsea instead.
Now, speaking to the the Arseblog podcast (via FootballLondon), the Monaco midfielder spoke at length about the manager who brought him to the Premier League at such a young age as well as the turn of events that saw him snubbed when returning.
“The only thing that kills me now is that I had to be so pushy to Arsene,” said Fabregas.
“The guy gave me absolutely everything. I owe everything to him.
“I asked to leave after the World Cup in 2010. He [Arsene] told me absolutely not, it is impossible. “He said if the next season would be the same then he would look into it.
“Arsenal will have the first option and I cannot speak to any other club for one week until Arsenal make the decision if they want it or not.
“Arsenal were my first option. In my mind I’m telling everyone I’m going [back] to Arsenal.
“I played for Arsenal with a fever, I played for Arsenal with a broken leg.
“I played for Arsenal when my Grandad died. I gave everything for that club & I would do it all over again.”