Cesc Fabregas has denied suggestions he left Arsenal because he feared the club were in decline.
Fabregas, 24, finally returned to boyhood club Barcelona this summer and reportedly told Spainish newspaper Sport that doubts about the Gunners' ability to challenge for major honours played a part in his decision to leave.
The Spain international lifted the FA Cup at Arsenal in 2005 but failed to win any further trophies before he completed his £35m move to Barca in August.
"I needed a change in my life, that's the truth. We weren't winning any titles and it was very frustrating for me. I didn't feel like I was developing anymore as I should do," he said.
"I want to be in a club that is able to win the big titles year after year and I don't see that kind of future for Arsenal. I still have many feelings for Arsenal but I fear that they won't be able to push the other big clubs in England away. If you look at the team this season I can't see them finishing in front of teams like Manchester United or City. Or Chelsea. There's just too big a difference between the squads.
"I respect that Arsenal doesn't have the same financial opportunities as the others but it was part of my decision to leave that I find it hard to see Arsenal winning Premier League or Champions League in a near future. I hope they will replace me and the others that have left with some quality players and maybe they can take Arsenal back to their level as champions."
However, Fabregas took to Twitter Thursday night to say he had never spoken to the publication.
"[sic] I'd never speak 1 bad work abt AFC, here there's once more prove that so many people put in newspaper wtv they want and tis not professional," he said.
"I want Arsenal to be successful as much as every single fan. That's not why I left, it was never in my mind. AFC made me who I am today. And nobody will ever change that.
"I never gave any interview away since my press conference at my presentation and there I just said the truth and what came out of my heart. Great words abt this great football club cause that just what they deserve: success and trophies.
"People can h8 me 4 leaving or remember that I gave my all for the club. But me talking 1 bad word or saying smthng against AFC will not [be] seen."