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Nasri: We knew Cesc was leaving Arsenal

Arsenal's midfield was left with a gaping hole to fill in the summer, after the French international became the latest in a long line of Gunners to join moneybags Manchester City for £24 million, while Fabregas finally sealed his return to Catalonia for £30m.

The European champions had made no secret of their desire to bring the 24-year-old back to Camp Nou, having failed to secure his signature 12 months earlier.

However, after a sixth successive season without silverware, which included losing the League Cup final to Birmingham City in agonising fashion, Fabregas knew he would have to move on in order to achieve his long-term ambitions.

Gael Clichy followed Fabregas and Nasri out of the Arsenal exit door, with the left-back also moving north to join Roberto Mancini's all-conquering outfit.

But Nasri says his skipper's decision to depart had no bearing on his choice to leave, as the Arsenal players were already well aware that Fabregas would be flying the nest.

"We knew Cesc was leaving the year before," he says in the January 2012 issue of FourFourTwo magazine - out now.

"I didn't leave Arsenal because Cesc did. The time was right for me to move on."

And the former Marseille playmaker, who scored 18 goals in 86 league appearances for the Gunners, is adamant that the sole reason for him leaving Emirates Stadium was to win trophies.

"This wasn't about Arsenal, or Arsene Wenger, or the fans, who were fantastic. I wanted to improve as a player and win trophies."

Read the full interview with Samir Nasri in theJanuary 2012 issue of FourFourTwo- out now.

It also features a world exclusive interview with Cesc Fabregas and the release of the annual 100 Best Players in the World, with Daniele De Rossi, Yaya Toure, Edinson Cavani and Manuel Neuer among those interviewed. Subscribe now!

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