AS Monaco midfielder Cesc Fabregas has explained why he turned down a move to Real Madrid on two occasions during his time with Arsenal.
The Spaniard rose to prominence at the Gunners, where he made his first team debut at the age of 16 and 177, becoming the club's youngest ever debutant.
In his earlier years, Fabregas was part of the Arsenal side that won the FA Cup in 2005 while he also featured in the UEFA Champions League final against Barcelona a year later.
The Spaniard has now revealed Los Blancos made two attempts to secure his services, with the first offer arriving when he was 18-years-old.
"They called me more than once or twice," Fabregas told AS.
"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.
"(Arsene) 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 Barca."