Chelsea’s Cesc Fabregas has revealed he is a “big fan” of Mesut Ozil, even though the Arsenal midfielder prevented him from returning to the Emirates Stadium this past summer.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was expected bring Fabregas back to the club when it emerged that he was set to leave Barcelona at the end of last season, but the ex-Gunners captain shocked fans after moving to London rivals Chelsea instead.
A clause in his contract even gave Arsenal first-option to re-sign the Spain international, but Wenger admitted that he passed up the chance because he believed there was not room for both him and Ozil in the same line-up.
Fabregas holds no resentment over how things unfolded, however, and stressed in an interview with Spanish radio station Onda Cero that he is a keen admirer of his former club’s record-signing.
"I have always liked Ozil. I am a big fan of Ozil,” he said. "Some day you will know the whole truth... I am not a traitor.”
Fabregas broke the hearts of Arsenal fans again in October, when he helped lead Chelsea to a 2-0 win over Wenger’s side at Stamford Bridge, in a match in which he appeared to get into a tussle with former teammate Jack Wilshere.
The Blues star insists there was nothing to the incident, though, and claims the pair are still on good terms.
“I remembered that incident with Wilshere,” he said. “He trained with us since he was 16 and he has always respected me a lot because we play in the same position.
"We have always had a really good relationship but he had an incident with [John] Terry and he was a little bit angry. I just said to him to take it easy but he hadn't had a problem with me."