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Mourinho: Fabregas preferred Chelsea to Arsenal
Created on Jul. 19, 2014 10:09 AM EST
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho claimed it was "easy" to lure Cesc Fabregas to Stamford Bridge ahead of the Spaniard's former club Arsenal.
Mourinho, well known for playing mind games - particularly with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, fired a shot at his arch-rival on Friday, claiming Fabregas had never been interested in leaving Barcelona for the Emirates.
Fabregas' contract with Barcelona had a clause allowing Arsenal first refusal if he left the Camp Nou.
But after the Spain midfielder claimed on Tuesday that Wenger could not find a spot for him in his starting XI, Mourinho argued Fabregas had never been that interested in Arsenal anyway.
"I spoke with him for 20 minutes," Mourinho said.
"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."
Fabregas was captain of Arsenal when he left in August 2011 and had played 212 Premier League matches under Wenger, scoring 35 goals, and helping them win the 2005 FA Cup.
The 27-year-old midfielder will now line up for Arsenal's London rivals Chelsea as one of three players signed by Mourinho from Spain's La Liga in this close-season.
Mourinho declared on Friday that with the signing of Filipe Luis from Atletico Madrid, Chelsea have completed their work in the transfer market ahead of the 2014/15 campaign.
Filipe's former Atletico team-mate, Diego Costa, is the other player to have swapped La Liga for the Premier League at Stamford Bridge.
"I have to say my club did a fantastic job and not just because of what we bought but a fantastic job because we did it almost in record time," Mourinho said.
"The market closes at August 31 and we close our market on July19. We finished our market today.
"The club did fantastic. We knew the targets, we knew the players. The club attacked them and their clubs at a very early stage. We got exactly what we need. The squad is a squad I like very much."