Flamini wanted l'OM stay

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Arsenal's new signing Mathieu Flamini has insisted that he wanted to stay at Marseille and would have if they had shown more desire to keep him.

The 20-year-old caused fury amongst l'OM fans and officials by moving to Highbury and signing a four-year deal with Arsene Wenger's side.

Marseille coach Jose Anigo blasted the young midfielder by claiming he was only chasing the money, but he has insisted that is not the case.

Flamini says that he always wanted to remain at Stade Velodrome, but could not find an agreement with the French side.

Flamini wanted to go out on loan if he was not going to play in Anigo's first team, but the club refused.

The argument led to the club and the player failing to agree on a deal, and Flamini duly left to join Arsenal.

"The first contact with Arsenal came at the start of the week when talks with l'OM fell through," said Flamini.

"When I understood that I could not stay at Marseille I had to move, it was not the money as some people have stated.

"I really wanted to stay at l'OM, I even met Jose Anigo and I can tell you it went smoothly.

"However, the officials could not find an agreement so I knew the club did not have the desire to keep me.

"I was not a priority for them and I am peeved. Anigo is certainly very disappointed, but I have always been honest with the club that have made me and I did want to stay."

Flamini says that a chat with Wenger and a look around Arsenal's set-up was all he needed to sign for The Gunners.

"I had a talk with Arsene Wenger and I also quickly met the chairman.

"I have visited the facilities and they are wonderful. It is really strange as I only knew l'OM and I leave the club that has educated me.

"But I am joining one of the greatest clubs in the world."