Mathieu Flamini has spoken about his decision to leave Arsenal, saying that only a dream move to Milan could have persuaded him to leave London.
The 24-year-old Frenchman signed a four-year deal with Milan, after successfully completing a medical.
“I always thought Milan would be my first choice if I had to leave Arsenal,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“I didn’t do it for money. I don’t want to brag, but I had lots of offers. If I chose Milan it was because it is every player’s dream.”
The Frenchman turned down a new deal offered by manager Arsene Wenger prior to his contract running out at the end of the season.
“It was not easy to make the decision to leave London, but I knew what I wanted,” he added.
Milan failed to qualify for next season’s Champions League competition after finishing fifth in the Scudetto, and will now compete in the UEFA Cup.
“I don’t mind at all,” he said. “Those who play in the UEFA Cup with Milan know that it’s the exception of one season. Milan are the team with most (international) titles in the world.
“They are a great club with a great history, a good, amiable coach, excellent players, passionate fans. When I entered the San Siro on the night of Milan-Arsenal it made me shiver.”
He added that he is confident Italian football on the up after the 2006 match-fixing scandal.
“Serie A is returning to the top. The problems are water under the bridge, lots of great players will come to Italy,” he added.
The Frenchman also said he was glad to have escaped the attentions of the British tabloid newspapers.
“If you say that in Italy the newspapers are not so interested in player’s private lives you take a weight off my heart,” he said.
“In England, where otherwise I’m fine, paparazzi chasing players with new girls are a nightmare.”