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The Cameroonian reveals that he was frustrated by the Gunners' unwillingness to talk about a new long-term deal and hurt by accusations that he was lazy and late for training

Alex Song insists that he never wanted to leave Arsenal but moved to Barcelona after becoming frustrated with the club's unwillingness to open talks over a new contract.

The Cameroon international completed a £15 million move to the Catalan giants earlier in August, where he joins former Gunners captain Cesc Fabregas and a galaxy of superstars.

But the midfielder is adamant that he would have stayed if he had been made to feel valued at the Emirates Stadium and not had his professionalism and desire to train questioned in the media by 'club sources'.

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"I love Arsenal, I never wanted to leave," he 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 woke up and read those things in the paper and was really surprised and disappointed. 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."

Although the nature of his departure from north London left a bad taste, Song reveals that he is excited at the prospect of playing for Barca.

"I will always love Arsenal but Barcelona are the best team in the world," he enthused. "I may not start every game but I can't wait for the challenge.

"I would have stayed but when the Barcelona train comes in for you, that is a once-in-a-lifetime chance and you just can’t miss it."

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