Song wanted Arsenal stay
Barcelona midfielder claims he was 'fobbed off' by Gunners
Last Updated: August 26, 2012 10:35am
Alex Song: Barcelona midfielder has claimed he never wanted to leave Arsenal
Former Arsenal midfielder Alex Song has claimed he only left the Emirates for Barcelona as the Gunners would not talk to him about a new deal.
The Cameroon international became the second high-profile player to depart the north London club this summer in the wake of Robin van Persie's move to Manchester United.
And while the striker's announcement that he would not be extending his stay under Arsene Wenger hastened his departure, Song insists that he had shown nothing but loyalty to Arsenal.
The 24-year-old, who was sold to the Spanish giants in a £15million deal, says he was ready to pledge his long-term future to the Gunners, only to be 'fobbed off'.
Song told The Sun: "I was ready to commit my future to the club. All I wanted were talks about a new contract but each time we were due to sit down, the club postponed it. I was fobbed off.
"I wanted a new five-year contract at Arsenal. In the end I got one - at Barcelona.
"I had been trying for eight months to start talking about a new long-term deal but the club kept postponing me all the time, saying 'You have three years left'.
"I hadn't talked about money I just wanted to sit down and discuss a new deal - I wanted to commit my career to the club I loved.
"I was ready to commit my future to the club. All I wanted were talks about a new contract but each time we were due to sit down, the club postponed it. I was fobbed off."
Alex Song Quotes of the week
"Then out of the blue, Barcelona came in for me. And, suddenly, I was wanted by the biggest club in the world and they wanted to give me a five-year deal."
Song has also hit back at reports which suggested his exit from the Emirates was due to a poor attitude in training and a fall-out with manager Wenger.
He added: "I woke up and read those things in the paper and was really surprised and disappointed. I love Arsenal, I never wanted to leave.
"I'm really upset. These accusations are hurtful, they are slurs on my character. I have the utmost respect for Arsene Wenger. I loved him like a father and he is a fantastic coach.
"He made me the player I am and I am indebted to him for that. There was never any trouble between us, so for someone within the club to suggest that really upsets me.
"If Arsenal thought I wasn't enthusiastic in training then maybe it was I didn't understand that I was contributing on the pitch and they didn't want to sit down with me."