Fabregas left Arsenal and returned to Barcelona in 2011 but just three years later the midfielder was on the move once again.
Arsenal had a first option to buy Fabregas but despite spending eight years with the Gunners, the midfielder ended up making a surprise switch to Chelsea, who were managed by Jose Mourinho at the time.
Fabregas has subsequently admitted that his preference was to return to Arsenal and he was waiting for his former club to trigger their option.
But Wenger says he was keen to use Fabregas as a warning for players in Arsenal’s squad who were thinking about leaving.
In an interview with The Athletic, Wenger said: ‘It was general guidance for me to make the players realise that if you leave here, you don’t come back.
‘It was a way to retain the players who wanted to see if the grass was greener elsewhere.
‘I did it for Thierry Henry, Sol Campbell, Jens Lehmann but they were different.
‘The young players who left I didn’t like to do it.’
‘At the airport I was told he was signing for Tottenham and I managed to intercept him,’ said Wenger.
‘It was a funny story because I was negotiating all day.
‘We had Ivan [Gazidis] and Dick Law to negotiate and they called me up and I had the agent on the phone.
‘And I told him, ‘Look, I have to hang up because I’m in front of the Pope’. He said to me, ‘What?’. I said ‘Yes’, because we were queuing to have a photo with the Pope in a private audience, and I was at the back of the queue because I had to talk and negotiate.
‘I arrived in front of the Pope and I had to say, ‘Look, that’s not possible anymore. I will meet the Pope now’.’