Cesc Fabregas has revealed Mesut Ozil’s presence at Arsenal was the reason Arsene Wenger rejected the chance to re-sign the midfielder.
The Spain international left Barcelona to join Chelsea earlier this week, despite Arsenal having first refusal due to a clause in the contract that took him from London to the Camp Nou.
Fabregas, who made 303 appearances for Arsenal in eight years, was open to a return to the Emirates Stadium but his former manager felt he would be too similar to Ozil in midfield.
“When I decided that my time at Barcelona had ended, I looked for the best option for me,” Fabregas explained on Sunday. “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 Ozil and it was hard to find a place for both of us in the team.”
Instead, the 27-year-old opted to move to Stamford Bridge on a five-year contract, and he admitted new boss Jose Mourinho convinced him Chelsea was the best place for him.
“I wanted to go back to the Premier League and I had to think about what my options were then,” he continued. “I had many very good offers, the logical options. I spoke to Jose Mourinho and he told me that he wanted me there.
“He convinced me very, very quickly.
“He told me what I wanted to hear; he won me over and convinced me. It was very quick. I am very happy, very satisfied and I think it will all go phenomenally well.”