Cesc Fabregas reveals Arsenal turned down the chance to sign him

Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas has admitted that Arsenal had the first option to sign him after he decided to cut ties with Barcelona back in 2014.

The Spain international made over 300 appearances for the Gunners between 2003 and 2011 before he returned to his hometown Barcelona.

Things did not quite work out during his three-year spell in Catalunya, and he eventually made his way to Chelsea in the summer of 2014. Speaking on Sky Sports, Fabregas admitted that the Gunners were informed of his desire to leave Camp Nou, but the club never made contact for his services. As a result, the 30-year-old moved on to the Blues, where he has gone on to win two Premier League titles in the past three seasons.

"Once I made the decision to leave Barca, 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 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," he said.

Fabregas featured from the off during last weekend's London derby against Arsenal, but he could not much of an impact in midfield. The Spaniard provided an excellent through ball for Pedro, who missed a glorious chance to score, but other than that, he was outclassed by Aaron Ramsey, who was adjudged as the man of the match.

The Spain international had issues with playing time over the course of the previous campaign, but the departure of Nemanja Matic to Manchester United have helped his cause to fight for a regular position in the starting line-up.