The Spain international’s services was no longer required to Barcelona and was offered to several Premier League clubs, which includes the Gunners and Manchester United. Fabregas spent eight seasons with the North London club, before joining the La Liga giants in 2011.
Flamini played alongside Fabregas in Arsenal’s midfield, while the two star players were wearing the Gunners’ shirt. The 30-year-old left the Emirates club and returned to England on a free transfer last summer.
The French midfielder admitted that he stayed very close to Fabregas and is disappointed for joining Arsenal’s direct rivals.
“I had an amazing time with him at Arsenal and he stayed a very close friend of mine,” Flamini told Goal.com.
“I’m a bit disappointed that he’ll be playing with Chelsea rather than us, but I respect his decision. That’s football, and I’m very happy for him because I’m sure that if he’s moving back it’s because he wanted it.”
“I’m also very happy that he’s coming back to London because he’s going to be my neighbour, so I’ll see him a lot!”
“It will be very strange to play against him, and it won’t be easy – we were laughing about it when I saw him a few days ago – but I’m happy because it will give me the opportunity to see him a bit more than when he was in Barcelona,” the Gunners midfielder added.
The Emirates club had a chance to re-sign their star midfielder. However, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger turned down the chance to sign Fabregas as he has the services of Aaron Ramsey in that position.
In the attacking division, Arsenal have their club-record signing Mesut Ozil and Santi Cazorla. The decision from Wenger to turn down the chance to re-sign is the right call by the French manager.
Flamini, however, has to just accept that he fact that he will see his very close friend in the opposition team when the two London clubs face each other at least on two occasions next season.