1:46PM BST 15 Aug 2011
Wenger has fought to keep Fàbregas out of Barcelona's clutches for the last two years, but the Arsenal manager finally bowed to the inevitable last week after conceding it would be foolish to hold onto a player who was so desperate to leave.
He told Arsenal's board to accept the Spanish champions' latest offer of £35 million and Fabregas was officially unveiled as a Barça player today.
Wenger had forced Fabregas to stay at the Premier League club last season, but his often lacklustre performances hinted at his dissatisfaction and the French coach couldn't tolerate a repeat this term.
"Yes we lost a world class player and we are sad about it. We did try to keep him but in the end we have to respect the desire of the player as well," Wenger said.
"It is very difficult to get the best out of a player, he has to be completely committed to where he is. If you understand one thing, it is that Cesc didn't go for financial reasons. He wanted to go back to his home city.