The England international was sold to Liverpool on transfer deadline day, with the Gunners accepting a £35m offer from the Reds, just days after the Gunners crashed to a 4-0 loss at Anfield.
Wenger has since revealed he was keen on keeping the midfielder at the Emirates Stadium but that it was the player who ultimately decided to leave.
“He had one year to go,”Wenger told the Evening Standard. “At the start of the season we had four players with one year to go.
“I wanted him to extend his contract, yes. He decided to go. We respect that but at the end of the day, I decided to sell.
“We respect his decision and that’s absolutely normal and I have no problem with that.
“What’s important is that the players make a good career, preferably in your club. If it doesn’t happen, you still want them to have a good career.”