Cesc Fabregas has revealed he rejected the chance to join Real Madrid few times while at Arsenal.
The Spanish midfielder joined Arsenal’s academy in 2003 at the age of 16 and made his first-team debut for the club later that year.
Fabregas would go on to play more than 300 games for the Gunners and help the club win the FA Cup and reach the Champions League final in 2006.
He eventually left Arsenal in 2011 to join Barcelona, but says he turned down a number of opportunities to sign for Real Madrid before then.
“They [Real Madrid] called me more than once or twice.
“The first time I was very young. I was 18 and they offered me a big salary, but I felt like I belonged at Arsenal.
“Wenger had bet the farm on me. I couldn’t leave. In any case, I’ll always be grateful to Madrid for the way they treated me.
“When I was 23 I had a serious calf injury and they sent me a really nice message.
“I’m grateful for their interest in me but I always dreamed of playing for Barcelona and if I felt that way it was for a reason. It all worked out pretty well for me,” Fabregas told AS.