Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho claims Spanish midfielder Cesc Fabregas did not want to rejoin Arsenal before he made his move from Barcelona to Stamford Bridge last month.
Reports have suggested that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger opted not to take up the option to re-sign his former captain Fabregas when he was made available by the Catalan club. But Mourinho offered up a different version of events on one of the big transfers of the summer.
"I spoke with him for 20 minutes," said Mourinho of Fabregas, speaking at a BT Sport event in London, "I think he really wanted to come to us.
"As you know Arsenal had an option to interfere, but I think he was not open for that. I think he was very much in our direction so it was an easy job for me."
Meanwhile, Mourinho has suggested Chelsea's transfer business for this summer's window concluded when they sealed the deal to sign Brazilian full-back Filipe Luis from Atletico Madrid on Friday.
"I have to say my club did a fantastic job and not just because of what we brought, but because we did it in almost record time," he added, as Luis joined Fabregas and Diego Costa as the Blues' three summer captures.
"The transfer market closes August 31, and we close our market on July 19. We finished the market today. The club did fantastic. We knew the targets, we knew the players and the club attacked them and their clubs at a very early stage."
Transfer window roundup
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- Transfer Centre: All the done deals
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- Delaney: What did we learn on deadline day?
- Horncastle: European transfer grades
- Smith: Transfers more important than the game?
- Macintosh: We worship goals, not balance sheets
Mourinho went on to suggest the upcoming Premier League title race is shaping up to be the most open in memory, as he claims five teams will battle it out for the big prize.
"Why I like the Premier League so much is that at this moment, nobody knows who is going to win the title," he added. "I know that we want to and I know that we can, but it is the kind of competition where I can't say.
"At this moment, I think between us, Liverpool, Arsenal, Man United, Man City -- who is going to be first, who is going to play in the Europa League, I don't know.
"There were good teams last season and there will be better teams this season because everyone is investing. If you make a team to be champions, then you have a big chance to finish in the top four."