Mathieu Flamini turned down the offer of a two year contract from AC Milan before returning to Arsenal this summer, the Frenchman has revealed.
The 29-year-old signed on for a second spell with the Gunners in August after leaving Arsene Wenger's side on a free transfer in 2008 to join the Rossoneri.
Keen hold onto the tenacious midfielder, Milan offered Flamini a two year contract extension as he approached the end of his old deal, but the incentive of once again working alongside Arsene Wenger in the familiar surroundings of the Premier League helped convince him to call time on his Serie A career and return to the Emirates.
"Milan asked me to extend my contract for two years," Flamini told France Football, via Metro.
"However, at 29 years old, I didn't want to sign anything less than three seasons. I had other opportunities in Italy where clubs other than Milan contacted me, as well as from sides in Germany and England.
After parting ways with the Serie A giants, Flamini took up an offer that Wenger has previously made to former Gunners such as Thierry Henry, Sol Campbell and Freddie Ljungberg in inviting him to train with club in a bid to retain his fitness.
But after impressing the Arsenal backroom staff and his former boss, an offer of an extended stay was soon forthcoming, one eagerly accepted by the Frenchman.
"At this stage of my career, it was an important choice, so I took time to think," Flamini added. "To maintain my fitness I decided to train with Arsenal and then over time the deal unfolded.
"The fact that Arsene Wenger is still at the club was an important part of my decision, he knows me very well and has played a big role in my career.
"He introduced me to the best league, the Premier League, and has taught me on so many levels, tactical, technical and mental."
Flamini was given the opportunity to return to the Arsenal fold in the most intense circumstances, coming on as a substitute midway through the Gunners' 1-0 win over arch rivals Tottenham Hotspur at the beginning of the month.
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