February 10th 2008: “There are talks with the club and I hope everything will work out because I am happy here,” Flamini said. “I like English football and I love Arsenal. Hard work. I have done that for the three-and-a-half years have been at the club. Now I have my place in the team and I am getting more and more confidence. I am in central midfield and that means I am involved in everything. That suits my style.”
March 11th 2008: “This is the best partnership,” Wenger said of Fabregas and Flamini. “Going forward they are technically good and very mobile. Before we had players with impact and now the players’ strength is in mobility. Maybe they are less physically strong in the challenge than Vieira and Petit but they have a good understanding and they cover each other well. We build a team over years, being very restrictive about our spending and you are only rewarded if you can keep the team together.”
April 1st 2008: “I am talking with the club and we’ll see what happens. But I hope to stay at Arsenal,” said Flamini.
April 4th 2008: “I keep telling him to sign it quick because we need him,” said Fabregas. “But he is concentrating on the football at the moment – we are still going for two titles, so right now, everything else is not as important. Of course, he wants to know where he will be next season, but we all hope he will be with us. He is working really hard, he is a nice guy, he wants the best for Arsenal and I know he wants to stay. Mathieu has a lot of options because he is playing amazing football, but I know he really wants to stay here and that’s the most important thing.”
April 27th 2008: “There is something in this team which is stronger than a few bucks here and there,” said Wenger. “What is really important is that this team says ‘lets go to the end of our potential together and not walk out for any simpler reason’ – and that is where I expect them to show strength, and care what they can achieve together. We are not any more in a period where you get £100 more at another club and it decides your life. Flamini can earn more somewhere else that is for sure because it would be a free transfer – but how much is he ready to sacrifice to stay here?”
May 5th 2008: Flamini signs for AC Milan on a 4-year-deal.
May 7th 2008: “It is a problem [the salaries on offer] but we did not master this situation [with Flamini] because when a player is out of contract he can sign where he wants,” said Wenger. “I must say I am disappointed that he did that – but legally he can do it. But I hope that 95 per cent of the team, the core of the team, says ‘come on, we have only just lost’. If our players are not capable of doing that and just want to walk out for bigger contracts, for me that would be the biggest disappointment.”
May 11th 2008: “I actually wanted to sign a new contract at Arsenal last July but it didn’t happen,” said Flamini. “AC Milan did so much to sign me I couldn’t refuse. What happened to us after leading the league for so long was the most painful experience I had during four years at Arsenal.”
May 17th 2008: “If Arsenal had offered me a contract last summer I would still be their player now,” Flamini said. “Last July I told Arsenal I wanted to extend my contract so, of course, I would have signed if they had offered me a deal – but they didn’t. They said they wanted me to prove myself first. It was difficult for me at the beginning. I had to see it as a challenge but I won’t lie, it was not easy. You have to be mentally very strong to cope. I’ve enormous respect for Arsene Wenger, but I did not leave for the money. I’m leaving for Milan because it’s one of the biggest clubs in the world – with millions of fans everywhere, an enormous history and one of the biggest trophy cabinets in the world.”
March 24th 2010: “I’m following the interest towards me of big English clubs. But my priority is Milan,” Flamini said. “I’m at a legendary club, one of the greatest in the world. I feel very good there, I’m counting on imposing myself, at this moment I’m in full possession of my abilities.”
April 9th 2010: “I would like to stay at Milan,” said Flamini. “I don’t know if (manager) Leonardo will be our coach next year but I am a Milan player and my duty is only to give my best on the field.”
June 21st 2011: “It is my intention to remain at this club and extend my agreement with Milan,” Flamini said. “There is no rush though, we will speak in the future when the right time has arrived, but I want to stay a long time at Milanello. After winning the league title this year, I want to try to win the Champions League.”
June 20th 2012: Flamini released by AC Milan.
June 26th 2012: Flamini re-signed by AC Milan.
July 4th 2013: “The club did offer us a two-year extension,” said Flamini. “But, considering what he brought to the club, Mathieu wanted a longer deal. He is refusing to consider his future at AC Milan.”
July 10th 2013: “I miss England and I want to win the Premier League,” said Flamini. “It has a special place in my heart. I like the pace and the physicality of English football, and I like that every game is very open. When you are a competitor, what you want is to be successful. And to be successful, you want to win trophies. Other countries are possible, too. I don’t want to close any doors.”