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Cesc Fabrega opens up on Manchester United snub when signing for Arsenal

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Cesc Fabregas was a hugely popular figure at Arsenal.

The diminutive Spaniard left Barcelona to join the Gunners as a 16-year-old in 2003 and was a beacon of light at a time when Arsenal were starting to fade out of the Premier League title race.

He won the FA Cup at the Emirates, as well as finishing as runners-up in the Champions League in 2006 and was handed the captain's armband at the age of 21.

He left in 2011 to return to Barcelona, but what made him leave the Catalan giants in the first place to set up home in north London and become a firm Arsenal fans' favourite?

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It was the desire of then manager Arsene Wenger and the vice-chairman David Dein.

Speaking to former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand on The Locker Room on his Five YouTube channel, Fabregas admitted that he snubbed the advances of Manchester United to move to north London.

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He said: "At that time I had Man United as well and I was supposed to make two trips, to London and Manchester.

"And when I went to London Colney it was the middle of June, everyone was on holiday. Arsene Wenger was in Paris on holiday, he flew on a private jet to meet me, David Dein came to London Colney to meet me and this shocked me. 'I'm 15 years old (sic), I'm absolutely nobody and this guy is breaking his holiday to come and meet me'.

"They showed me the training ground and I just fell in love with the whole thing, the whole project. That meant a lot to me and I just made my decision and went for it."

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