Jose Mourinho: Fabregas wanted to sign with Chelsea over Arsenal
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho insists that new Blues signee Cesc Fabregas never wanted to return to Arsenal if he came back to England, according to a report from The Guardian.
Fabregas will return to the Premier League after three seasons playing for Barcelona. The Spanish giants bought the midfielder in 2011 from Arsenal, where Fabregas started his professional career.
As part of the deal to send Fabregas to Barcelona, Arsenal had the right of first refusal on the Spanish international, meaning that Arsenal would have the first shot at Fabregas should he decide to leave Barcelona. Though Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger reportedly told Fabregas that there simply wasn't room for him in a crowded Gunners midfield, Jose Mourinho tells a different story.
“I spoke with [Fabregas] for 20 minutes,” Mourinho said, speaking in his role as a football expert and ambassador for BT Sport. “I think he really wanted to come to us. As you know Arsenal had an option where they could interfere but I think he was not open to that. He was very much in our direction. It was an easy job for me.”
The former Arsenal captain isn't the only new face at Stamford Bridge this season. Chelsea also signed Diego Costa and Felipe Luis from Atlético Madrid, though the club has lost David Luiz (PSG), Ashley Cole (Roma) and Demba Ba (Besiktas).
Last year, Mourinho waged a war of words with Wenger when he called Arsenal's manager a "specialist in failure."
- Stanley Kay