Reports are out claiming that Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger maintains has no regrets over former skipper Cesc Fabregas moving to Chelsea from Barcelona this summer.
The Gunners held first option on the 27-year-old, who left to rejoin his boyhood club for £30million in August 2011.
Asked whether he believed Fabregas’ first choice would have been to rejoin the Gunners, Wenger said: “Certainly, yes. (But) I don’t want to make a big story of that because you have to accept that once he had moved away from us, and it was the first separation which was difficult for us.
“Once he went to Barcelona, he could have gone anywhere else after.
“I personally believe that deal (with Chelsea) was done a long time ago, early 2014.”
Wenger continued: “I didn’t speak to Cesc directly. I was informed that he might go to Chelsea, but when I was informed I thought the deal was already done.
“Everybody has the freedom to go where they want. We have to respect their decisions.
“As long as we are not in contention (for the transfer), we cannot stop people going where they want.
“I have also told you before why it was not a subject for us – we were in search of more up front and more defensive opportunities than creative midfielders. We have many.
“When Cesc left we bought Ozil to buy an offensive player. We have Cazorla, we have Wilshere, we have Ramsey, we have Oxlade-Chamberlain, who are all offensive players. We were not in the need to buy offensive players.
“It makes sense if you just look at the balance of the team. I think that was a decision that is easy to understand.”